[Rough Draft]

A weblog about god, doubt, insomnia, culture, baseball


grace tends to fart a lot

outside magazine is one of my favorite dentist's office reads. i don't subscribe b/c, well, i have this little cognitive dissonance issue, and way too many magazines arrive in the box @ 1509a johnson every month (no thanks to the band of collegiate yahoos (pronounced yay-hoos in dixie) who saw fit, in a burst of senseless and unbridled felonious destruction of property to whale on my mail box w/ a bat as they sped past under cover of darkness a month or so back ). but i do like to read outside when i can, especially if contributing ed. jon krakauer has a byline (i'll probably never read under the banner of heaven again b/c i've got a little girl now -- good book, but if you read it, you'll know why young fathers might choose to steer clear of a second reading -- but i've pored over krakauer's own mountaineering memoir, into thin air, and young alexander supertramp's ill-fated adventure, into the wild, multiple times).

my all-time favorite outside article, however, is by tim cahill. it's in the sept. 98 issue, and it's called "shed his grace on me: a bit of praise of life's wonders. like forgiveness, redemption and canine flatulence." it begins:
grace attends me on my jaunts into the steep mountainside wilderness above my cabin. sometimes i believe i can actually see flashes of grace in the slanting light that falls through the tall pines in this cathedral of forest. i am led, by grace, up the steep hillsides, through areas of deadfall, and over mossy logs that cross the constant roaring whitewater of falls creek. grace leads me through the bear and moose scat, over the forest floor, under a canopy alive with scolding squirrels, through accumulations of alpine wildflowers — mountain bluebells and clematis and pink twinflower — and in the evening, grace accompanies me to bed, where she tends to fart a lot.
if you're a lover of spaniels, grace or good feature writing, i suggest you read it all. (don't you hate it when bloggers blurt out a snippet of someone else's writing and then say, in a heavy-handed, deeply ominous series of keystrokes, "read it aaaalllllll"? i know i do, but this one really is worth the time it takes to read it)


first lines, last lines

for no good reason:

i used to copy out my favorite lines from books i'd read, especially first and last lines. my favorite firsty is probably from norman maclean: "in our family there was no clear line between religion and fly-fishing" (a river runs through it (chicago: univ. of chicago press, 1989: 1)). another favorite, albeit less literary and more pulp fictiony than mclean is: "what i have learned through my short and disastrous legal career is that in law, as in life, the only rational expectation is calamity" (william lasher, hostile witness (regan books, 1995: 1)). off the top of my head, i can't recall many last lines i've been taken by, save a line from the last page of beuchner's telling secrets (san francisco: harper, 1992):
i have sensed the presence
of a presence.
i have felt a promise
but saturday i read a sentence from the middle of a book that i thought was great -- upon vernon's having spent his first night in jail: "last night was long, boy, long and shivery with ghosts and realizations" (dbc pierre, vernon god little (new york: canongate, 2003: 39)). i know exactly how he felt.

[rd]'s voice of the week: mindy smith

heard six feet under featured a clip of mindy smith's interp of dolly parton's "jolene" a couple sundays ago. i've long since given up on six feet under as offering anything remotely redeeming (@ the end of season one, r' and i would pretty much just stare, gape-mouthed, @ the tv each week like it was a car wreck), but my friend rollyn told me a year or so ago to watch out for smith. well, i don't watch a lot of country videos, but i did happen across "come to jesus" somewhere a few weeks ago, and it put one moment more on my wishlist pdq. real player's "real music guide" has an ep called down alley that has acoustic versions of 5 songs, including "jolene" and "come to jesus." if you can stream, check out video for either song (the latter's the best) @ mindy's artist page @ launch (i used to be able to link to these videos, but i've lost my mojo).


that which must not be named

is it ok to get excited about this? notice i didn't use the terms "race," "catch" or "playoff" -- uh, until now. have i just doomed us by even mentioning that which must not be discussed?


"the great revaluation"

today is the feast day of louis, king of france. the gospel reading is luke 12.22-31, a passage from jesus' sermon on the plain where he teaches us not to worry about what we wear, what we'll eat, how we'll get along in the world. the feast day of a king, for heaven's sake, and the gospel is about not worrying about the trappings of a comfortable life. fr. moore's homily tonight focused on poverty, a topic oft addressed from our pulpit of late, and once again i'm thinking about what jesus' message means for us in the cushy first world. i do appreciate that there are many in the "first world" who are poverty stricken, but i think it's beyond argument that we're more well-to-do in the industrialized west, as a rule. but it's hard to know what to do w/ parables and teaching about poverty. did jesus in some way romanticize it? is poverty for poverty's sake a good thing somehow? i don't think so. but someone's else's words are usually better than mine, and this is no exception:
jesus does not champion the cause of the free individual against society. he does not stand for the heart as against the law. he does not side with the outcast against the prudent and the respected. he does not consider the sinner as such more valuable than the virtuous. jesus is far from both romanticism and class-consciousness. he is interested only in the individual soul whom he places before god. he possesses the godly power that springs from divine freedom, power to stir all manner of men: the poor and lost simply by accepting them as human beings and bringing them the tidings of god’s mercy; the great and admired by making them realize that they dangerously overrate themselves and risk losing their salvation.

jesus came – he and no other – to bring about the “great revaluation” through god’s message to the world. the new testament does not say that the poor, despised, the sinful are more open to the tidings of the coming kingdom than are the prosperous and the powerful whose one interest is to preserve the status quo. naturally, the wealthy have little desire for a revaluation. the others are readier because they are freer. and though it must never be forgotten that poverty can also lead to separation from god, revolt against god, it is an accepted fact that the poor and the disinherited experience more deeply the illusoriness of earthly existence. the world itself sees to it that they realize where they stand. need can make one apathetic or desperate; still there remains a deep bond between the sinners, the “little ones,” and the divine herald of god’s kingdom, himself poor and homeless.

once the danger of distorting jesus’ portrait has been removed, let us remember the mystery of poverty, of rejection and “folly for god’s sake” that is relevant indeed to christ: the mystery and folly of the cross.

– Romano Guardini, The Lord (Washington, D.C.: Gateway, 1996): 66-67.

envirovehicle: the gem

heard a report on npr today about something called a "global electric motorcar" or gem. they're pretty much glorified golf carts, and they're still priced out of our range, but how cool would one be for driving around oxford? short of a smartcar (i can never get enough of pasting that link in posts), it's probably the best we could do, price-wise, to cut back on petrol usage. of course, i could just walk to work, but it's about 400 degrees here 11 months out of the year.

the sound of silence . . . from my blog

sorry 'bout not posting anything lately. i blame my failure on (a) round-the-clock olympics coverage, (b) lotsa work, (c) more stuff going on @ st. peter's and in my ordination process, and (d) gerbils. i did finally get around to watching teeny tiny girl squad today. it is -- let's see, i need a new word -- uproarious.


michael bolton v. kenny g


a poem for my daughter

renee' and ells return today from a visit to the coast, and they couldn't get home soon enough for me. i heard a radio show several weeks ago about poems fathers had written for their daughters, and i finally got around to tracking some down on the www today. here's one of my favorites:
tonight i walked,
close to the house,
and was afraid,
not of the winding course
that i have made of love and self
but of the dark and faraway.
i walked, hearing the wind
and feeling the cold,
but what i dwelled on
were the stars blazing
in the immense arc of sky.

jessica, it is so much easier
to think of our lives,
as we move under the brief luster of leaves,
loving what we have,
than to think of how it is
such small beings as we
travel in the dark
with no visible way
or end in sight.

yet there were times i remember
under the same sky
when the body’s bones became light
and the wound of the skull
opened to receive
the cold rays of the cosmos,
and were, for an instant,
themselves the cosmos,
there were times when i could believe
we were the children of stars
and our words were made of the same
dust that flames in space,
times when i could feel in the lightness of breath
the weight of a whole day
come to rest.

but tonight
it is different.
afraid of the dark
in which we drift or vanish altogether,
i imagine a light
that would not let us stray too far apart,
a secret moon or mirror,
a sheet of paper,
something you could carry
in the dark
when I am away.
for jessica, my daughter by mark strand.

if you're interested, others include: yeats' a prayer for my daughter; heart's needle, by w. d. snodgrass; and first lesson by phillip booth, which i believe is included in a compendium of poems aired on "all things considered" and which google says we can read @ this blog or from this service @ a uu church (no kidding) in ct. i'd like to read more of these poems, so please email me if you know ones i've missed.


"what think ye of christ?"

this is the question dorothy sayers poses @ the outset of the opening chapter of creed or chaos?, her defense of dogma in the face of the (then) 20th century assault against right belief. over the past few months, i've thought a lot about the "emerging church" movement and its aims, and i have come to the place that i'm pretty much on board w/ it except for one thing: its seeming lack of emphasis on orthodoxy. i'll admit i want some way to make sense of the world, and maybe that makes me overly suspect of churches or movements that appear to elevate praxis and individual experience over objective truth. whatever the reason, i remain a bit skittish, although i'm willing to give the emerging church the benefit of the doubt (due in no small part to the fact that many people i love and respect, and whose lives bear the marks of christ far more clearly than does my own, are, in a word, "emerging"). but all of us, not least myself as i go about the business of becoming a priest, should remember who and what we are. our message isn't that of religious pluralism or relevance or tolerance for the sake of tolerance (although tolerance is imperative); it is the gospel. we do well to heed a caution from sayers:
the central dogma of the incarnation is that by which relevance stands or falls. if christ was only man, then he is entirely irrelevant to any thought about god; if he is only god, then he is entirely irrelevant to any experience of human life. it is, in the strictest sense, necessary to the salvation of relevance that a man should believe rightly the incarnation of our lord jesus christ. unless he believes rightly, there is not the faintest reason why he should believe @ all.


pop vs. soda

absent anything better to blog about --

recently some friends have been discussing carbonated beverages and the regional expressions used to designate same, i.e., do you say "pop" or "soda" or, as befits a youngun raised in the american south, just plain "coke" and then designate the "flavor" of coke you want? not surprisingly, perhaps, some bloke has done some informal research and compiled a map! having lived in new england for a few years before coming back to mississippi for a stint, i am now a proponent of "soda" as the most fitting term of general usage, but i still fight the urge to say "coke."

"pop" is just plain ludicrous.



oh, my word. i stayed up til the wee hours to watch sailing, and as soon as my feet hit the floor i'm headed for the tv to check . . . table tennis? a pox on your house, nbc!!

update: things are deteriorating, and the fornight must surely end soon. i slept w/ the tv on and tuned to bravo last night. i even thought about calling in sick today to stay home and watch something called dressage.



this year's feast of the assumption of the blessed virgin mary will be the first one that i can ever remember being aware of, sadly enough. coming from the evangelical church into the ecusa (and sniffing around rome) has been such a cool experience b/c the ancient church is so textured and, i don't know, all spooky. it really does inspire awe in me sometimes. i had to read butler's to figure out just what's going on, but the catholic encyclopedia has a little primer, if you're interested. for those who are more hagio-phobic (and, i confess, the church's teaching about mary would be one of the few remaining stumbling blocks for me to get around if i really felt god leading me to become r.c., and i'm pretty comfortable just saying "the church says it . . . that's good enough for me"), christianity today even has a pretty good article about the dogma of the assumption of mary (hattip: charles @ hope & glory).

question: anybody know why the anglican and roman catholic breviaries are different? i know, i know . . . fgi (don't click on that, mom) . . . but i'm watching the olympics, so get off me.


"mr. brighteyes"

my a.m. coffee break surfin' reveals a pretty good vid o' the day from the killers, a las vegas band whose video makes me feel like it's 1985 all over again, but in a good way (thanks, jason)


"one by one"

experiment: (a) slide in your well-worn copy of foo fighters' "one by one" (you know you've got one, otherwise click here for streamin' vid, including cool super slo-mo part on bridge before equally cool red background makes dramatic appearance); (b) play track 1, i.e., song of same name; and (c) just try not to turn it up loud enough to almost get yourself fired from your cushy guvmint job.

dutch guy w/ extra toes and a pink bear

and from monsieur roberts comes what is, in my opinion, the weirdest website of the week. the english version commences w/ "i'd like to apologize for all this," which brings to mind the classic epigraph to dave eggers' a heartbreaking work of staggering genius: "this was uncalled for."

atonement on cold mountain

my friend leonidas didn't like cold mountain. i didn't understand his distaste when he first told me about it after we had both seen the film in theatrical release, and i certainly don't understand it now that i've watched it again on dvd over the weekend. from a christian perspective, the best thing i can say about it is: "that'll preach."

i met charles frazier, the author of the national book award-winning novel, when he read @ square books fairly soon after the book's publication. i was immediately taken w/ the story of a confederate army deserter, in the waning days of the civil war, making his epic journey home to cold mountain and the girl he loved w/o really even knowing her @ all (the loose model for the soldier, inman, was frazier's own uncle, and the allusions to the odessey are not accidental). then, after having read the book, i was delighted that it would be adapted to film. it was only when i saw the film, however, that i appreciated the thread of atonment running throughout.

if you haven't read the book or seen the film, i won't spoil it, but as examplars i commend to you, inter alia, the "goat woman's" tender sacrifice of one of her beloved animals; inman's lamentation that he had killed whatever good was in him through his despicable wartime acts and his fear that he had nothing to offer ada upon his return; and, in juxtaposition, the "scapegoat" scene @ the end (i'm not exactly sure whether the last scene is in the book or director/screenwriter anthony minghella wrote it in). minghella was quoted in an interview:
there are other things going on in this film, one of which was the look of how people find redemption and make atonement, the whole notion of walking and journeying in the same way as a pilgrimage in the medieval period was a penance that you did in order to be allowed home. that's very much in my mind as well as a simple romantic connection between a man and a woman.
(in case you click on that and wonder whether i read jack, i don't; in fact, i'd never heard of it until i googled "cold mountain" and "atonement." it's just that the first result i found was a link to ivillage.co.uk, which bills itself as "the website for women," and i just felt a little more comfortable linking to jack, thank you very much).

i don't see how anyone could watch the movie and not find the message of the horrible acts man commits, both in war and without, and the necessity of atonement for those acts. i have no idea whether frazier is a christian (he did write an intro to a pocket version of the book of job, but that doesn't really mean anything, i suppose), and i'm enough of a critic of reader-response criticism not to read anything back from my interaction w/ the book/film, but for me it was indeed a beautiful portrayal of grace.

if you're interested, jeffrey overstreet has written a review of the film, too. if you've nothing better to do this weekend, it's definitely worth a trip to the local video store or a netflix rental.


a history of mine injuries

to recount the ways in which i have (a) hurt myself or (b) been hurt by others would take way more time than i've got today for bloggin'. suffice it to say, i have been injured doing my own laundry, playing hackysack, candlepin bowling, lying on the couch. now, however, i believe i may have outdone myself over the weekend. on sunday night last, i went to the e.r. b/c i was suffering from an extended bout of vertigo. never had it before; can't say that i want it again (i'm much improved today, although i'm headed for an ear-nose-throat doc this p.m.). what's interesting about the whole thing, though, is that i can't figure out how in the world i contracted the condition, which the doc (oddly dressed in a scrub top, black army fatigues and what appeared to be knock-off doc martens) diagnosed as "labyrinthitis" and i prefer to call "benign paroxysmal positional vertigo" b/c it gets me more sympathy. the only thing i can attribute it to is (wait for it . . .) repeated "flips" of my head to get my now almost hippie-length hair out of my eyes.

made vertiginous by my own hair. can't you just imagine what would happen if i was a rock climber??


strenghts & weaknesss in the emerging church (i promise)

i liked justin’s post @ radical congruency. i’ve been wrestling w/ the emerging church ecclesiology (or what i perceive as the lack thereof) for a pretty good while, just across the other side from justin and aaron. i’m 36, w/ a little family (in number, not lilliputians), and i’m a convert to the episcopalian church from a s’ern baptist/presbyterian background. i’m also about to become a priest, @ precisely the point when it seems like all the people i’d really like to “do” church w/ are about to split! anyway, i liked to see the guys throwing out pros and cons, then asking for feedback. i’ll be checking in when i can to learn, not to churn up controversy. i think the episcopalians have got just about enough of that right now w/o asking for it from the emerging church.

godspeed, brothers.

jared: "potential next great american novel"

so do i. in my ears tonight, even as i type away, shindell is telling me to "take your suitcase, take your heart; take the trian to the boulevard . . . ." well, thinkling jared believes he's found the next great ameican novel, and i beseech you: heed him, take said suitcase, heart, train, whatever -- just race to the library and try to get a copy of the amazing adventures of kavalier & clay. when i have precious little original thoughts to blog (like tonight, when my the originality of my thoughts is directly proportional to the discomfort it would elicit to get them out), i try to find someone blowing sunshine @ a book i loved, then just hitch myself to it like lance armstrong drafting in the alps (i really tried to make up a graphic metaphor there, but i'm off my game -- that's a whole other deal dere, though; not for now -- remember i said about the discomfort and the thoughts and the thing?).

but lemme say this -- if you're despirited by your summer reads thus far and you fear the risk of putting so much pressure on those precious last pre-semester/pre-work reads only to have solid books fall short of overblown anticipations, trust chabon. they don't just give away pulitzers, now, do they? hasten, yea hasten to get a copy. i think you'll be glad you did (after you find you're reading it for the 3rd and 4th time in a weekend or somesuch crazy tomfoolery).


rob goes in for corsondonk

i knew darby conley was a man after my own heart, and saturday's strip proves it! (remember this?)


hail to the kings

ok, so when tracy told me about kings of leon back in april, i listen to some clips, liked them and added a link to my sidebar, mainly b/c i always liked tracy in particular and the word "leon" in general. then, just recently, i found a copy of youth and young manhood @ the library. after a buncha, buncha listens, i am now ready to report that these guys are awesome! click on over to their website and listen to an audio clip or watch a video clip; check out the picture of the band w/, apparently, mr. t (i'm starting to look like the followills a little myself, thank you very much); read the bio's description of their journey from pentecostal pk's (reminds me of folks like paul thorn and the oft-touted jim white) to rock stars that look like boston (you know, i still like them) or black oak arkansas back in the day; whatever you do, just check 'em out. and if you see tracy, tell him "thanks" for me.

reflections on the eucharist

one man's dilemma

what follows is an open letter to a new friend, a christian who can't seem to figure out what in the world's wrong w/ me in that i continue to lean toward voting for kerry/edwards. the friend, we'll call him "monty," graciously gave me permission to post this so you guys would have an equal opportunity to take shots @ my reasoning or otherwise urge a correction of my position. in fact, monty's already written me back (i emailed this to him last night) and given me much to think about. i'll warn you -- this post is pretty long, and it involves politics, two factors which don't serve it well as readership goes. nevertheless, w/o further ado, i give you a description of this man's dilemma:
dear monty -- thanks for the forward (of "r.i.p. free speech" by paul weyrich of cybercast news service), and thanks for checking out my scribblings on my weblog, too. i appreciate what mr. weyrich has to say in his article, but it's not quite enough for me to oppose kerry and edwards in this election, especially with bush and cheney on the other side. however, i don't know whether my posts adequately express my ambivalence w/ government (both national and ecclesiastical, as i am an episcopalian) right now. i confess i voted for gore in 2000, primarily b/c i thought he was more qualified to be president. to tell the truth, i still think he's more qualified, if only b/c he's far more intelligent than president bush, and i'm afraid the latter has allowed himself to get into a situation militarily from which it has now become almost impossible to extricate himself or the country. that being said, i pray for the president @ least weekly, usually more often, and i get fairly well pissed when some of my friends (trial lawyers, all) "bush bash" just b/c they don't like the guy. i'm an attorney working for the government (not a very important employee, i assure you), and most of the people w/ whom i come into contact (the staffs of mississippi's senators notwithstanding) are rabidly anti-bush. i, however, am not. and yet i still intend, @ this writing, to vote for the challenger.

i'm sorry, but you probably shouldn't expect a convincing defense of my decision, even if you're open to the arguments. this decision is one about which my wife and i are praying fervently; it's also one that is giving me ulcers. in short, the arguments on behalf of the democratic nominee are several. first, i never have supported the use of military force in iraq, and to date no one has been able to convince me that i was wrong. if the government had publicly stated that it intended to act solely to remove a despotic ruler; if the government had publicly stated that access to petroleum is of vital national importance (it is, btw), and military intervention was in furtherance of that interest; if the government had touted iraq's value as a buffer of sorts b/tw iran and israel; if there had been credible evidence linking iraq and 9/11; if, if, if . . . but that's not what they said. indeed, it's my understanding that the neo-cons hammered out the doctrine of preemption well in advance of the election or september 2001. my friend, dennis (who desperately needs a new post on his weblog), and i discussed this topic for hours a couple weeks ago, and it appears that there's no convincing him that war was wrong, just as i don't think there's any convincing me it was right. moreover, i've never heard a compelling argument for cutting taxes, running deficits, oligarchy by and for the wealthier americans, smaller but not smarter government, et cetera. dude, i almost can't think of a single reason to vote for these republicans over these democrats.

except one.

i'm so conflicted about the "culture of death" (to purloin a papal turn of phrase), and what my vote for the dems does to further that culture, that i'm almost ready to stay @ home in november. no kidding. maybe i'll write in my wife or margie or dennis (or you, monty, if you're up for it). everything inside me revolts against a policy of abortion on demand, although i argued for such a policy throughout law school. so, therein lies the rub. do i vote for the people that i legitimately think are smarter, far more caring, less prone toward militaristic nationalism, less cabalistic, more open to public debate, generally supportive of reasonable gun control, civil liberties and health insurance for every american, and opposed to advocating any religion or capital punishment? or do i vote for the people who, in theory @ least, oppose abortion on demand? (even if we had a conservative republican executive, congress and majority on the supreme court, i'm not convinced we could ever roll back what roe v. wade and the last 30 years have done to our national mindset, anyway)

finally, i can only say a little bit about mr. weyrich's primary argument, which i understand to be that the liberals will marginalize the religious right and make orthodox teaching about homosexuality punishable. as a lawyer, i don't believe that the existing supreme court jurisprudence would allow such a development; i really don't. moreover, as a priest-in-training, i don't think i have the right to demand that my views be embraced by the majority (or the minority), nor should it matter whether what i preach -- centrally the christian gospel -- is legal or not. my friend tom mentioned a few months back, perhaps offhandedly, that "it is entirely conceivable that w/in a generation, orthodox christians will be the enemies of the american progressive liberal democracy." he even cited some bigwig author or intellectual to support the premise. but to me -- it doesn't matter. the gospel should marginalize us, yet we should preach it. if we're hated by the world or the united states majority, well, the 1st century world hated christ first. if my allegiance to the lord demands conduct that the democracy deems criminal, then i should conduct myself as a christian and damn the consequences. maybe i'm naive; maybe i'm a little too "bleeding-heart"; maybe i don't think the religious right should dictate governmental policy to a nation that is effectively post-christian and disagrees w/ most of the religious right's doctrine; maybe i don't even think there should be a religious right -- but i can't vote republican just to protect my pocketbook. that's not to say i won't vote for bush/cheney or even abstain in november, but i'll lie awake tonight praying that god will give me wisdom and direct our leaders, republican or democrat, to make decisions that are more complex than anyone of my limited intellect could hope to solve.

but that's just me.

thanks again for reading, and i hope i haven't said anything personally offensive. i learned quite a bit about myself in typing the last few paragraphs, and i pray for you as you read them (if you read them!).

christ's peace, brother --

~ sam


random stuff i surfed today

  • drinking makes you smarter! it seems that a group of scientists has discovered that alcohol consumption (and a fairly good amount of it, too -- something like half a bottle of wine or two pints o' lager per day) actually improves brain functioning. well, whaddya know? this is a truth episcopalians and catholics have known for a long, long time. (many, many thanks to: jim @ dappled things)
  • why, oh why didn't anyone tell me about this?!? i'm not kidding -- this guy is one of my heroes!
  • slate reports on california's suv ban (i love the idea, but you just know it ain't gonna happen in real life)
  • will ferrel returns as george w. bush. republican, democrat, green party, independent, whig, whatever you are -- you've got to think this is funny (thanks to my friend and fellow law clerk lee waddle and taegan goddard's political wire for the link)

christian carnival xxix

this week's carnival is up, courtesy of the sharply designed digitus, finger & co. you should check out the site if for no other reason than the name!

goin' off on the emerging church

also while i was away, it seems karen haluza of raw faith published an unabashed self-styled rant about the emerging church. i've only skimmed it, and i haven't read any of the responses that other bloggers are firing off (my rss reader's a bit full what w/ my having been gone for about 5 days), but some of what she says is what i've been thinking. i don't agree w/ it all, and i certainly don't agree w/ the ad hominem tone, but she has some valid things to say. it's the first time i've visited her 'blog, and it seems that she denominates almost every post as a "rant" of some kind. this one's worth reading, though, whether you agree w/ karen or not.

(muchas gracias to another karen @ submergence for the link; you should check out her site, as well as the church of the apostles)

the pope called

i was out, but he left this message. sounded sorta controversial. haven't read it yet, but rest assured i shall in the coming days.


no-more number 5

renee's 10-yr. high school reunion was yesterday, so i was either driving to the coast or getting ready for the reunion all day. only after the reunion, @ the after-party, did i hear the sox had pulled the trigger and traded nomar. i knew it was coming, and i think it was the right move, but it'll still be hard to watch him play for a team besides the sox (even if it is one of my favorite teams of all time). another reason theo's move doesn't irk me is that this trade made baseball sense, not just financial sense, not just financial non-sense a la a certain pinstriped empire that will remain nameless. the sox would've won a handful of games this year w/ better defense, including a couple of head-to-heads w/ the yank . . . er, those guys, and some on days the "guys" lost, which would've put us closer than 8.5 back w/ a shot in the east, not just playing for the wild card. and w/ cabrera @ short we're automatically better up the middle (today's boot notwithstanding), and mientkiewicz is a former gold glover @ first.

if you trust peter gammons (and i do, especially when he talks about his beloved sox), this is a risky move but one epstein had to make. it seems to me that it makes the starters better, bellhorn better and the rest of the defense better, thereby making the 'pen better, too (i do realize, as i type this, that the bullpen fell apart in today's 4-3 loss to the frickin' twins -- they'll always be on my short-list of most hated teams after the amazing world series in '91). this was a real trade, not a free-agent aquisition or a shameless buyout of some aging superstar's contract so he could play out the season and then sign a 2-year deal w/ the dodgers. in short, we knew he was leaving @ season's end, no matter how often nomar told the press he wanted to stay in boston. this was a bold move, but the right one nonetheless.

i have tons of memories of no. 5 playing for the old towne team: his roy, batting titles in '99 and '00, five- and six-hit games, riding on a bus in swampscott listening to him hit 3 home runs on his birthday, the echoes of no-maaaah! every @ bat @ fenway, the snl skits, even the forgotten but emmy-worthy turn playing himself on the belated two guys and a girl. even shaughnessy, who has never been the biggest nomar fan, recognized that we lost an "offensive force" yesterday, a player who "could have been our dimaggio." but he wasn't cut out to be a dimaggio. he wasn't our leader, and now he's gone. i wish him good luck w/ the northsiders, but, strange as it is to type this (and in full recognition of the fact that he'll probably win the nl triple crown next year), we're probably better off as a team today than yesterday. simply put, nomar was bitter, and this trade makes us better. Posted by Hello
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