06 February 2006

Books, Bowls and Baseball "Caps"...

Went home this weekend, to do two things- gather up the remainder of my books to fill out my bookcase (I now have legit space for books, so I brought my stored up collection back with me) and watch the Super Bowl. Done and done.

Got home Friday night and went straight to the task of picking through the book collection. A lot of it is/ was garbage- stuff like Howard Stern's Miss America which, while extremely funny, I don't really need taking up space on the bookshelf. For whatever reason, whenever I thought of the books that I had stored away, one of the covers that popped into my head immediately was that of Francis Ford Coppola- A Filmmaker's Life by Michael Schumacher. I read it when I was in Europe in early 2002. Great, great book- and an incredibly fascinating guy (one of a number of men who's biographies I've read, who started life bedridden or sick- Scorsese, Teddy Roosevelt). Anyway, obviously this was the only of the books I wanted to bring back that was nowhere to be found. Great.

I remember Bill, Brian and I were moving full steam ahead in the dead of winter through a trip in Europe, and when we woke up in a Berlin hostel, I kind of put my foot down and demanded a "day of rest." I had to rest up, I was going crazy. Bill and a friend of his from Oxford (Bill was studying there) headed out, while Brian nursed a sore ankle and I read about 255 pages of this book. It was weird- I was tireless. I couldn't stop reading. After I finished, I had decided to start reading the Stanley Kubrick bio I bought in Amsterdam. I found that book this weekend. Maybe I'll replace the Coppola some other time. Not a huge deal.

The big find, however, was a trunk full of my Pa's (Mom's dad) old books. As lame as it sounds, I'm kind of a sucker for older book cover art- not as anything definitive, just as something fun to look at. So not only were these a laundry list of books I'd wanted to buy/ read at some point- they were incredibly cool looking. The old Modern Library editions especially. I currently own two different editions of Ulysses, and after the weekend, I have a third.

Really cool stuff like William Herndon's biography of Lincoln, Aristophanes' Five Plays, Mann's Death in Venice, lots of Henry James collections (I love Henry James), and a small bounty of paperback classics that I happened just not to own- like, for instance, Moby Dick and Crime and Punishment. There's even a really big Faulkner collection that I'm especially excited about.

A few really, really cool old baseball books too- a Sporting News photo book called Take Me Out to the Ballgame, which has photos/ histories of nearly every old major league ballpark, and another one called One Shining Season, by Michael Fedo. I remember him giving me this book around when I was in 5th grade, and I loved it. I'd tell people it was my favorite book ever. The book had a different story in each chapter of a one-hit-wonder ballplayer; someone who'd had a fantastic season in a career of relative mediocrity. In fact, one of them was Walt Dropo. I remember vividly the best part of the book being the player's reminiscing on that one season. Baseball can't be beat in the innocuous histories department.

I loaded all that shit into a Rubbermaid type bin and got it back here, along with my "K" sheets from the first time I saw Pedro pitch in person. That's getting framed and hung in my closet (I live with a girl, after all).

I'll add more as I go through them tonight- I'm sure there are some really great finds that I've already forgotten about since Friday.

In related news, my out-of-print copy of Next Time Let's Not Eat the Bones by Bill James should be in my mailbox today. I had to pay nearly $45 for it, but well worth the price. You can't find it anywhere anymore.

So, the Super Bowl sucked eggs, especially for someone who, 354 days out of the year is bored more or less to tears by it anyway.

Another observation- the commercials, by and large, sucked dick. Now, question- have they ever not? And does anyone ever stop and think about what they're doing when they sit down to actually derive a night's worth of enjoyment from some fucking commercials? TV commercials. Think about that. (Here they all are, thanks to the good people at Google Video)

The only one I kind of liked was the one where the alien and the robot had sex and made a Hummer car, because it was weird, uncomfortable, and cool looking. Other than that- it was more of the same. Mildly funny, lots of tits, beer, cars, and some inscrutable tie between Budweiser and Clydesdale horses. I know they're the mascot, I got that much. It's just really stupid.

People like to talk about ads they like, and which ones are funny, whatever. I think in the history of my life I've actually laughed at maybe two commercials. I think the fact that there's some oily asshole trying to sell me something BEHIND all these little short films is the thing that's stopping me.

Yeah, I laughed at the caveman one. There's a NY Lotto one with a guy who buys the team and plays the field really poorly that's pretty good.

My mom and I watched the game, at some chicken wings, and that was about it. I did learn something about my Mom this weekend- apparently, she "hates" the Steelers, and "hates those uniforms" and hates "everything about them." She couldn't/ wouldn't elaborate, and that was that. Just for clarification- she doesn't watch football. At all. Interesting.

In a video shoot for MLB 2K6, Josh Beckett and Derek Jeter are shown "facing off." Of course, Josh ain't a Marlin anymore. Wearing #19, Josh threw to Jeter, for reasons unknown regarding the game. That said- it's really cool to see him in a Sox uniform.

Speaking of numbers, I found some interesting info on a new player's chosen number (which always fascinates me, for some reason). Snow's dad was an NFL wide receiver, and died this past offseason. JT has decided to wear his dad's old number in honor of him, as a member of the Boston Red Sox. His dad's old number?


Why that has me irrationally excited, I have no idea. I just love stuff like that. The chances of me owning a JT Snow tshirt just shot through the roof, however.

Snow, the former Angel who on Jan. 6 signed a one-year, $2-million contract with the Boston Red Sox, said, "I've asked the Red Sox if I can wear No. 84, and I think they're going to let me."

Don't fuck this up, guys. Say yes. It'd be cool. Come on now.

Not sure if I've ever mentioned it, but I'm a bit of a hat collector- not like, those fucking hippie Dr. Seuss types- I mean baseball caps, but I never called them caps growing up. We all called them hats. I realize the clarification needs to be made, however.

Anyway, this weekend, I added to the collection by picking up an official Oakland A's hat, and an official New York Mets hat. The green with yellow brim one on the former, and the original blue with orange letters on the latter.

No, I don't worry about the implications of this with regards to my being a Red Sox fan. I can walk into a gay bar and not fret about catching gay, and I can wear a Braves hat and not fret about catching Atlanta. That said- Yankee hats are, obviously, off limits. I'll go into a gay bar, but I'm not watching gay porno, if you catch my drift.

Maybe a better analogy would be, "I'm not wearing that shirt with a swastika on it." Same difference.

Also have:

  • Red Sox authentic

  • Red Sox 1975 Cooperstown

  • Atlanta Braves authentic

  • Oakland A's authentic

  • New York Mets authentic

  • Milwaukee Brewers 1983 Cooperstown

  • Dominican Republic WBC authentic (road)

  • Ted Williams #9 Retired Number

  • Looking to get a Pirates, Reds, Dodgers, Giants, Twins and Nationals in the future.

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