You gotta have fun


My writing output in this space has fallen off a bit lately. Some of that is because ideas are getting sent to other places, and some of it is that baseball seems to animate my writing somewhat.

I recently gave myself three months off from writing forThroughTheFenceBaseball, because I torture myself enough thinking about and writing about the Cubs when the baseball season is going on. But there’s no reason to keep doing that now that the season is officially over.

Until further notice, any Cubs-related thoughts will get put here or on FiveWideSports, which I started writing for to comment on Northwestern football. And that has turned unexpectedly painful too, over the past month or so. But I like the idea of sharing a thought with the wider world, and this site–like TTFB–lets me do that when an idea strikes me.

So the Cubs have a new manager named Rick Renteria. I’m not familiar with him, but don’t have any high expectations for him. So I wrote this piece and sent it to FiveWide. You might say I was on a roll when I did it.

We’ve known each other for so long….. (and yes, I did go there in the piece, as well).

Cry for these nights


I was driving through Tennessee today, shifting Spring break from the Smoky Mountains to Memphis and Graceland. And a very strange thing occurred as I was looking for something to listen to on the radio. Music on the radio has been something of  a recurring theme since I began writing this blog almost two years ago. So I’m going back to that well again, but the time to write is shorter than I would like, so I’ll try to be brief.

I can’t listen to country music. And I don’t listen to the radio to be saved, either. So my options aren’t very many in places like I was today. When I heard the opening notes to Rick Astley’s “Cry for Help,” a song that I’ve always liked on some level, I listened to it despite a healthy dose of static mixed in with the vocals. It was better than the alternative, at least.

At some point near the end of the song, another station with the same frequency cut in, playing the Eagles’ “One of these Nights.” For somewhere around 8 to 10 seconds, there was an accidental overlay between the two songs, before the Eagles won out. I wasn’t ready to let Rick Astley go yet, but life rarely waits until we’re ready for such things.

The harmony between the two songs was more interesting than either one could be on its own. It was as if some cosmic deejay had synched up the two, if only for an instant, before transitioning from one to the next. I’m sure this happens a lot, but it rarely gets noticed, and even more rarely gets written about. But it’s worth remembering that two disparate strands of music–or other forms of expression–have the capacity for coming together, in ways that are not easily seen on the surface. But since it can never last, it’s best to appreciate it when it happens. In this sense, it’s not too different from life itself.