Tag Archives: Pete Rose

Quarantine Casserole

I’m a lucky guy.

If you’ve spent more than a half an hour with me, you’ve probably heard that phrase and you know I’m talkin’ ‘bout Janie. The eye doctors in Central Kentucky owe me a moiety of their prosperity for all of the eye-rolling I’ve inspired with that phrase, but it’s undeniable. The day I tricked her into thinking she tricked me into marriage was the best day of my life.

First of all, she’s a pole dancer…for real. We even have a pole installed at the house…for real. How many guys do you know that live in a house with a library (with thousands of books, movies, and music discs), and a pole (with a resident dancer)?

I rest my case right there. I’m a lucky guy.

But wait! There’s more!! And it has nuthin’ to do with Ginsu knives.

Said pole dancer is also one sharp cookie.

Janie went hunting and gathering today at Kroger. She slapped on her pith helmet and sallied forth, sans grocery list (that means “without” – apologies to Groucho Marx). She was spurred to action after hearing about lockdowns in Italy and Spain, and Walter Tunis’ trophy-hunter selfie with the last can of tuna from Kroger.

She returned, sporting a grimly triumphal look.

“I hunted. I gathered. You bring ‘em in.”

“What’cha get?”

“Bags of random crap.”

That’s BORC to the I-can’t-be-bothered-to-spell generation (ICBBTS’s).

She was off to wash her hands while I toted in the nine BORC.

What a treasure hunt! What a jumble sale!

There was evaporated milk, clam strips, blueberry muffins, calamari, two cans of tuna (take that Mr. Tunis), a bag of oddly curled pasta (the last in the free world I’m told), one can of spam, and one tiny tin of anchovies. That last sentence was un-exaggerated and unexpurgated.

There was more, of course, but these were the items that dazzled me.

Anchovies.

I have never owned an anchovy in my life. I’m not sure I even know what one is. We are truly living in historic times.

I asked the Great Red-Headed Hunter, gently mind you, about the anchovies.

“I think I have a recipe.”

I surveyed the expanse of the BORC and pondered.

What kind of casserole could involve clam strips, calamari, tuna, spam, and anchovies? Do I wanna know?

The pondering swirled away (as pondering often will) into a stray remembrance of when I collected baseball cards as a child. I recall one summer when every pack of baseball cards I bought had a Marv Throneberry card in it. I didn’t know Marvelous Marv personally. He may have been a charming fellow, but I hated him that summer. What I really wanted that year was Pete Rose’s rookie card. I never got one. At one point, I offered to trade six Marv Throneberry cards for one Pete Rose. No takers.

Today, as I move the grocery piles to the pantry under the avaricious eyes of the dog (hoping for droppage), I am offering one tiny tin of anchovies for six Marv Throneberry cards…plus a few Ginsu knives thrown in.

Thus far, no takers.

I’m gonna go wash my hands.

Curling Collectibles

I collected baseball cards when I was a kid. Some of them were sacrificed early (Donn Clendenon, Marv Throneberry…) and attached to the spokes of my bike to change my whirring wheels to WHIR-R-R-R-RING wheels. But others were precious; Pete Rose’s rookie card, Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, Warren Spahn, Fritz Brickell…treasures all.

So…

Curling.

Which curling cards would be the gems?

Well…this tyro would be seeking the cards of Nina Roth (US Ladies’ icy assassin), Switzerland’s Benoit Schwartz, John Schuster and Tyler George (the passion and the skill of the US Men), and the sultry Russian, Anastasia Bryzgalova (because…well…damn).

And…

AND the entire South Korean Ladies squad. They gave themselves English marketing names based on what they had for breakfast. Ya gotta root for a team with players named; Pancake, Sunny, Steak, and Annie (a brand of yogurt).

Curling…cool…before cool was cool.

Tough Time for Heroes

I think my first hero was Mickey Mantle. Then I learned there were problems with alcohol.

Then it was Pete Rose……

Then it was groups; reporters, yippies, writers, comedians, teachers, US bicycle racers, film directors.

It seems the anointing of a hero leads quickly to the toppling of a hero.

Especially now.

Especially now.

I’m not sure I can live in a world without heroes.

What to do?

I attended an event that suggested a couple of places to look for heroes today.

I was flattered to be invited to be in the audience for the Senior Recital of a young singer I met when I did a small role in the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s production of RAGTIME. The singer is a fierce, intelligent man of strong opinion and strong voice. I suspect his strong opinions will occasionally get in his way as he journeys through life. I also suspect his intelligence and strong voice will cause people to listen carefully to his strong opinions and we may all made better for it…including him.

That would be OK, wouldn’t it?

He sang a song cycle by a Spanish composer I did not know; Xavier Montsalvatge. The song; “Punto de Habanera” is racy and probably presents a point-of-view that’s far too masculine for this week’s news cycle. “Canción de Cuna Para Dormir a un Negrito” is a beautiful lullaby with the politically-incorrect sentiment; “Close your eyes, frightened little black boy; the white boogey-man is going to come and eat you.” The songs were sung with passion and control…AND passion and a determination to make things better. That might be heroic enough to withstand today’s 24/7/365 media eye.

He also sang of Don Quixote.

It was Ravel’s song cycle; “Don Quichotte à Dulcinée.”

Quixote is a personal hero of mine. He fights dragons that are actually windmills…and loses. He physically defends the honor of maidens that can ill afford physical honor. He sees glory and beauty in the mundane whether it’s really there or not.

Ravel’s Quixote swears to Dulcinea that at her request he will;

  • Stop the Earth from turning.
  • Remove the stars from the sky.
  • Put the stars back in their place.

He will of course fail on all counts……but he will try……for her.

He prays in delight to St. Michael and St. George for assistance in these efforts…for her.

Quixote is, by 2019, a thoroughly vetted hero. I will be very surprised if emails, dossiers, or accusers emerge to shine new, righteous light on his failings. His failings are well-known and they are admired by me.

Whew!

Perhaps this is where we must look for our heroes today;

  • In the past.
  • In the arts.
  • In our fierce youth, beginning their journeys.

That would be OK, wouldn’t it?

Given the current and constant news beat, what choice do we have?