brewers baseball and things


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Altuve state of mind !!!

Parades are great and all. There are tons of em every day. Ants in my backyard and the birds above. Parades and more parades. Old people loitering outside the shopping mall. Teenage girls and their laptops, the downtown business crowd. Many parades. Gay parades. Whiner parades. Parades, parades, parades.

The faceless, lonely mobs….but I’ll stop right there before I get too self righteous and just say, I’m the warden of my own damn prison and Depression is not on the menu today. This might take hard work, but it’s not there. I scanned the itinerary and the only item under D is Dig my own turf. Depression is nowhere to be found.

I’m not celebrating the Nats clinching the National League East last night. So what if it’s the first time the Montreal Expos franchise has ever clinched a real division. Yeh, they did it back in 1981 but that doesn’t count That was the split strike season bologneeee.

And in 1994 they had the best record in baseball blah blah blah before another strike squashed the glory, but bottom line….The Expos never won crap. There’s a few fans who still cry and whine about the good ol’ days or how major league baseball screwed over the city, but no one really cared. They never went to games..And so the Nationals won and huh, what? Yeh, hockey starts next month.

Well, what about the Orioles? They clinched the AL East or what about the Canaheimel Angels? I think they clinched the AL West? There’s too many teams in the playoffs to care, but I bet champagne parties are fun. I never turn down a free drink; can’t be to picky about my company. I ain’t no sob. I hang out at the Chinese Community Center, watch people play ping pong and even play if someone nods my way; hands me a paddle; cures loneliness; for a few hours anyway.

Ah yes, the big parades and hype…every day, the eye shadow in eyes and lipstick on faces, the plates of corn beef hash slung across a diner table. Everywhere parades. Life is beautiful. It’s the system that sucks.

jose-altuve-astros

Altuve Altuve Altuve !!!

And outside the hype of another pair of tight jeans and far away from the whiners, complainers, and victims, there is Jose Altuve smashing Craig Biggio’s all time Astros single season hit record. I think it was 211.

I like numbers. I like Jose Altuve. He’s listed at 5 feet, 6 inches, but he’s no poodle and no Hitler or Mussolini and all the other little annoying Napoleons of the world bitching or even worse; offering serious and simple solutions at prices way too high.

Freddie Patek was listed at 5 feet 5 inches. Who cares? This isn’t a contest.

Altuve doesn’t blame the world because he ‘s 3 feet tall. Neither did Patek. Altuve just shuts up and well, he kicks ass. Congrats Jose Altuve and congrats to the Brewers who postponed the red turd celebration; beating the Cards in game 1 of their 3 game series 3-2 in 12 innings at Busch stadium.

Hector Gomez hit a bloop single over the head of fat first baseman Matt Adams driving in Carlos Gomez in the 12th, maybe the first time in Brewers history that a Gomez has ever driven in a Gomez.

The Brewers are 79-72.


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everyday tourists

Apples are huge this time of year northeast north america. It’s more than fashionable. It’s nature’s way. Those red bulbs are bursting on the branches and ready to be picked. I remember looking for apples on the periodic table. I never found an Ap with a number, but i didn’t feel stupid either.

It was like asking for a new donut at Dunkin Donuts. We used to go there after picking apples on a farm north of Milwaukee. It was like asking for new colors in the Crayola Box. I wonder if any kids or adults held makeshift vigils when Pluto got kicked out of the solar system?

We picked apples by the bushel back in the 1970’s; cheap as can be, so cheap that we threw some out the back windows of rather large station wagons. Us kids had a separate compartment back there with a leather cushioned booths.The parents never knew. We watched em bump and roll out that back window and down the hill as the car sped away. Absolute thrill, but that thrill is gone.

There’s apple picking real close to Montreal, but real expensive and a real mind fuck with crossing guards wearing yellow x reflector vests waving octopus arms directing traffic and telling us where to park and what you can and can’t pick. Vampires with badges; sucking the life out of everything.I’m not interested. I’d rather visit my apple dealer at the local market; 15 Macintosh for 3 dollars.

And anyway, I found an apple tree in Montreal or I think it’s an apple tree. I never actually picked the apples, but we took fake pictures and added them to our collection; at mini waterfalls, cliff edges. With the right camera angle we’ve been to Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. Bathtub and a cheap snorkel might be our next stunt. Madagascar?

fearThe building screws up these photos, but it was still a triumph and by that I mean, we kept happygoing.

We went to the Imax 3D Cinema lobby. They have good bathrooms there and it’s beside the St. Lawrence river which is much more interesting than the 20 dollar movie and a lot less expensive anyway. It’s free. A great place to watch people, sit on a park bench, breath air and try not to get shit on by seaguls.

There’s this painting beside the line to get into the movie. It’s free standing and has holes where heads are supposed to be. All kinds of humans put their heads there. It’s a tourist attraction for kids, adults, boys, girls; sexy people, ugly people, well dressed people, bums, drunks, business men and whoever pokes their head in those holes loses their sexual identity. Hard to tell who is a boy and who is a girl; a man or a woman.

I didn’t bother saying anything to anyone because that kind of information can really excite a fella; make him mad and combative. Brewers had an off day. 12 games to go. Time for a new ritual.

season of soups and breads, hello matt clark

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I should have dedicated a specific letter to Sunday just like they do on Sesame Street. I learned so many new things and tried so many different activities. I was such a good boy. Oh boy, it was just so swell.

And to think…when I woke up,  I was all ready to brag about my big night drinking at the bar with men, but there was one big problem. I didn’t drink at a bar the night before. I didn’t drink at all; other than a shot or two of gin mixed into a glass of hot water and lemon while watching tv.

But I swear on my great aunt’s wooden shoe that it coulda been a mind popping post filled with great wit and clever turns of phrases, not to mention scathing criticisms of society and name dropping well respected rebels. It coulda really displayed my vast cultural knowledge, maybe even a you tube video, but then something else happened. I got a real strong urge to bake some bread.

I was at a friend’s house and the world was still asleep. I had read the bread recipe the night before. I moved slow and quiet and found the ingredients and mixed em in bowls. It was gonna be a banana chocolate cake; a slight variation on the recipe but what the hell. I was feeling rebellious.  I mixed the brown sugar, eggs, and butter. Uh oh…butter ain’t so easy to mix. I melted it in the microwave but still clumping. Brought out the electric beaters….almost too noisy but I went Mike Tyson on that butter anyway, made it creamy.

In a separate bowl I mashed bananas and milk and in  third bowl….flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and whatever else the recipe asked.

The mixture was moist and looked gooey and good enough; spread it over an oiled pan. Oven already up to 350 degrees. Shove it in there and wish it well..One hour.

Plenty of time to make soup. Scallions or green onions or whatever those things we put in potato salad plus a regular yellow onion, carrots, a cup of green split peas, half of a yellow pepper.  Chopped em up, added 5 cups of water. Throw in two Bay Leaves, sage sprinkles, salt and pepper and Do No Celebrate I yell at myself.

For starters, you know nothing about spices and cooking I tell myself. You copied your mother Steve because she always used Bay leaves. Do not get all smug and proud because it’s 9 am and so what if you should be a guest on sesamee street. You shouldn’t even be talking about food. It’s a personal matter like sex or religion. Here’s a gift instead…wash the dishes Steve and make it look like nothing happened here. And so I did, but they knew anyway.

My friends took the damn thing off the stove too early. Beans were kinda crunchy and the cake, well, I let them taste it and the first comment was not mmmmmmm. It was “this tastes like baking soda. Apparently, I didn’t mix the dry ingredients enough and next time they’re telling me baking soda or baking powder, one or the other, but not both. Great advice for next project.

I love rabbits in hats and rabbits in the grass and eating rabbits. No one calls anyone a rabbit like we do a  chicken? But harder to find rabbits in the grocery store, and probably more expensive, but maybe easy to kill with a hunting license. I’ve seen them skinned and the flesh peels off real easy.

I seen a recipe in a book I got from the library….rabbit, pasta and blue berries. Sheeeeit. That sounds good, but I”ll probably get a 99 cent Elmer Fudd looking hat from the salvation army and go and eat a fish sandwich at McDonalds and quench whatever thirst i’m suffering; get back to basics. Brewers just a game and a half off the wild card.

Keep kicking ass; beating the Reds yesterday 9-2; that’s 3 wins out of 4 games or whatever and after all those losses in a row. Good heart or luck or whatever. Hot damn. Matt Clark-the newbee september call up. Mr. Matt Clarke now has 3 homers in 17 at bats.

The Brewers are 78-72.

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these rebels confuse me not anymore

It must be horrible to wake up from childhood and all the tonka toys and screaming drunk father gone…long gone. Who can remember anyway? I never sleep through a night. I wake up 6 or 7 times and my childhood was nowhere near a Tamil rebel. We drank Blatz, but I applied for refugee status when I entered Canada anyway. True story.

The official laughed at my request. “United States citizens can’t apply as refugees,” he said and I said, “oh yeh, well this is a psychological refugee application.” And he laughed again, but it was more of a I get what you mean sort of laugh, one of those I understood where you coming from son…yeh, the United States of America and feeling kinda fucked in the head.

It was 3:30 AM exactly. I remember last night. I remember it like the green digits lighting up the dark room; the damn space invaders. That was my 7th or 8th wake up but a tolerable one because it had a reason and an explanation. There was a hot rod in the night and it was for all of us night crawlers to hear. No shit. Some guy was whipping around street corners and peeling rubber on straightaways and revving engine at stop and goes like fuck all sabotage here I am.

Part of me was pissed for getting awakened, but then i was like..give it up Steve and stop blaming the world . You can’t sleep anyway and this neighborhood has gun shots so enjoy the drag race peace. But I never listen to myself and so I was pissed because this guy might crash into the building and I might have to deal with avalanche…car crashes into building..2nd floor falls into first floor falls into basement and well, I live in the basement and my 1st floor neighbor above is fat, but not Canadian fat. He’s American obese fat and I love him, but wouldn’t want him landing on my head.

I was also pissed at how many drunks this hot rod might be hitting. I like good drunks and the joyful noises they make…singing birds are them good drunks and most of the drunks I know are good drunks. I thought about people and their cars and all the love between em and that Queen song and what macho or lesbacho ego boost to slam that accelerator and make all that noise, flash one’s peacock plumage for all to hear.

I don’t have a car, never did, but I got a license and I can sort of relate to loving cars, but not really, not really at all. Either way, I don’t blame this Joe cool guy for letting off some steam and spreading his shit around and getting away with it. He went around the block at least 5 times and then he paused a while…maybe 40 minutes and started up again and no cops. Escape artist.

But then I got pissed at the Milan runway out there; this guy’s solo trip…a baseball pitchback….a kid playing catch with himself. I know that solitaire game all too well. It’s real easy with no contender at his side; no cop to a criminal and vice versa, but then it hit me how stupid I am.

This guy was doing it alright… riding peaceful streets of metropolis in these times of progress and law and order minus a few Montreal gang gunshots when this wild west horse of  a car steps to the plate and lets out some soulful exhaust screaming…here i am suckers. Come and get me.

I sighed with some satisfaction and admiration for the caped crusader. I rolled over; but didn’t fall back asleep; to the tv instead and fumbled around for the power button in the dark, switched it on and as my power switched off, I melted into the baseball highlights or screw that.. I fixated on the bottom scroll bar.  This is Canada Blue Jays Red Sox Yankees AL East highlights only.

The scroll eventually arrived, Reds 5, Brewers 1. And 12 more hours before it gets dark. Sometimes I hate the light.

The Brewers are 77-72


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burgers and pies and protest songs and walk offs

There are no pies for sale at McDonald’s, but I saw Joe Hill; the Swedish song writer who moved to America, joined a union and got executed. Or it looked like him and he talked about ketchup and taxes. I invited him for a coffee yesterday and we saw everyone there.

It was good to be back at McDonalds; diving headfirst into a 99 cent burger; the splash of dirty mop water; the paper place mates to scribble letters i will never send. The conversation of strangers, the comfy padded booths and free refills or they used to be free. Whatever, a muffin and a coffee is only 1.87. Now let’s kick back and enjoy some democracy I say to myself.

Where else can you find the whole damn world and this particular McDeees was on  Cote Des Neiges street and it had no outlets or WiFi or at least I didn’t see any and hot damn! the whole damn world with nothing but eyes and dares and conversation sparks; make love the old-fashioned way. Earn it in person; mano a mano. No more on-line cutism or bully shit. This was face to face, do or die. Make love, not war.

Make an ass of yourself; public humiliation, the red cheeks and sweaty palms nerves are a good enough baptism for me; a real scramble to jump start conversation or admire self consciously from a far; fondle the sugar packets in silence, but these were not rectangular sugar packets and there was no sugar tower in sight.

These were paper viles or cylinder shaped and all the sugar flows out in one funnel like action. You can even hear the sound of the granules hitting the coffee. I’m making way too big deal of this, but I do that with everything because I’m bored. This Joe Hill looking dude is interested and ads, “Maybe the ketchup situation can be rectified now.”

Good point. We go to the moon, but can’t solve the world’s greatest condiment.

This is a newer McDonalds. It replaced a diner where political talk used to go down or up. It’s beside a book store where there’s plenty of chairs to loiter all day if you want and no need to buy a damn thing. Cant say the same about this McDonalds. It looks space age with weird shaped chairs that have no backs.

What ever happened to booths? Or at least chairs with backs? This is a  bus cabin situation I think; an attempt to move people along; be productive and efficient. No loitering allowed. There’s no sign, but it’s implied. Freaking  scarecrows and metal spikes. Deterrents. Keep pigeons off buildings; bums out of bus cabins and the rest of us in and out of McDonalds.

Big bummer because loitering is my third favorite sport; right behind pacing and walking. Bus cabins should be fold out sofas and please revive padded booths in 24 hour restaurants like Ma Fischers on Milwaukee’s East Side or Denny’s with its underrated selection of pies.

A pie is a very versatile thing. There are meat pies and spice pies and lemon meringue pies and apple pies and potato knish pies and pumpkin pies and pies for whatever we want.

Baseball players throw pies in each others faces.The tradition is called pieing. The pie arrives as a surprise when a player is interviewed. It would be nice to see pieing after a walk off hit. Fans could get in on the action; throwing food at each other.

Defy the horses. Raid the field, just like the 1970’s. Dance crazy and rip up the grass. I’d rather see a pock marked field with holes than the smooth babies ass face of diamonds these days so easy . My grandma could be Andrelton Simmons.

All it would take is one food item tossed and a full fledged food fight could begin. The Brewers had a walk off last night; plenty of pats on Lyle Overbay’s ass and head, a huge fireworks celebration, water tossed, but no pies. You’d think the Brewers just won game 7 of the World Series.  Final Score; Brewers 3, Reds 2.

It was very regular, just another game in this long life of thousands of years, but it was everything. It was god damn Pie in the Sky and we were just as high as any so called famous moment from the glorious past.

The Brewers are 77-71.


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as nature slips into something more comfortable

A four pillar porch was a country. All that room to roll dice, eat ice cream sandwiches, swing in the swing chair, spy on the neighbors. It was our summer getaway like the spot under the basement steps was our winter-secret getaway.

The four pillar porch was our mother ship to return to after day trips to the ravine. That four pillar porch was our safe haven where no Dick could ask us questions.

They came in all shapes and sizes. Some sold encyclopedias. Others were teachers. Dicks for relatives. Dicks behind bar rails. There were traditional Dicks carrying badges and guns and Gangsters Dicks recruiting the next generation. They all asked too many questions so we hid behind the pillars to avoid them.

Those pillars musta been magic or something because the Dicks shut up. Tony wasn’t so convinced  He roamed around the neighborhood doing nothing in particular; just drumming up theories and hanging out. He was always looking for ways to shut up the Dicks.

“Smoke em out,” he would say, but not with a pistol. He wasn’t into killing. Tony wanted to blow marijuana smoke into the air ducts of homes; “mellow out the Dicks” he would say.

I think about Tony and those 4 pillar porches this time of year; this wind whips season as we used to call it and still do. It’s probably just as windy in winter and summer but those winds were either refreshing in the heat or blinding in the freeze; real different from this autumn ghostly wind or so much more to blow around anyway… strange swirl of leaves. If life were a movie, Autumn’s special effects would get an award.

We can see in autumn and every day will soon be like a ticker tape parade with confetti leaves swirling about celebrating another day I guess. It smells different too; like ochre gum balls if there is such a thing; a wood burning charcoal kind of smell and it gets me watching as nature slips into something more comfortable.

The Dicks seem less this time of year. Maybe it’s the death all around. I don’t know, but I like it. Feels like an extra innings after hours party with spirits running high. And the churches look better too. The sky is broken and bruised through the bell tower. The wind rules the clothes lines and we wait for broomsticks and Halloween and the crowning of another world series winner.

Feels like one more dance before the whole place turns into an ice box. Mike Fiers came in high and tight last night; nailed Giancarlo Stanton in the face, an awful place, the Tony Conigliaro ghost; the broken and bruised.

Stanton carried off the field on a stretcher. The acceptable chin music gone a muck; a slam dance in Stanton’s eye socket. Fractures and dental complications; broken and bruised. Terrible situation. I hope he’s ok and not altered psychologically. He’s a the sultan of swat in today’s game;hitting home runs no human being is supposed to.

The replacement batter Reed Johnson also got some chin music from Mike Fiers who was leading 4-0 and not interested in hitting anyone. He just pitches old school; a high and tight push the batter back. Turf war. Fiers is not afraid.

The umpires said Reed Johnson swing and miss and strike out. Benches clear. Manager Mike Redmond ejected. Casey McGehee…that ol’ Brewer done gone berzerk; smashing wood chairs in the club house; Tomorrow kindling for a garbage can street fire.

Brewers win again with Fiers on the mound. Final score; Brewers 4, Marlins 2.

The Brewers are 76-71


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broken note river

Breewoyyyyngggg was the sound, like some sort of string had popped or was popping and it kept repeating, Breewoyyyyngggg! Breewoyyyyngggg! It was the 4th or 5th inning. I should have been tuned to AM radio and eating a hot dog, but there was no stopping this and I wasn’t alone.

I looked over at the pom pom crowd yelling their radical left wing cliches. They were all wearing sunglasses and holding signs. So were the religious right on the other side. I couldn’t tell who was who anymore and didn’t really want to. Everyone sounded the same. It was a whining sound and it overshadowed the string popping sound.

“Refund” they kept yelling, “Refund.” “We want a winner or our money back.”

I looked away from the mass and into the darkness; grateful to find a vacancy aboard the train heading for broken note river. There were no reigns there; no plastic fingers waving right or wrong; good or bad. Reality amputated everything there. Up and down had no bottom or top. “Just enjoy the ride,” said the wind.

I drifted down the ramps, as far away from the whiners as possible. I was relieved to find cracks in the wet cement. There were gum stains and cigarette butts. I smashed a few paper beer cups with my foot and felt free. I love that sound. I peaked through the fence where the grounds crew gathers during games.

“Excuse us while we digest our own misery,” they sang as they worked. I hid behind an old booth where years ago a guy  musta stood there yelling “get your programs here” and years before him a red head in a kissing booth and before her a circus dunking booth and before that a vegetable stand and all the way back to when the wood of this kiosk was a tree in a silent field.

The grounds crew slipped outside. I followed from a distance and watched as they stood atop sewer caps looking like they were waiting to be beamed up by Scotty, but this was apparently a hands on situation. They fondled the sewer caps instead; moaning out loud…”such gorgeous ridges and curves and perforations.” They showed some good balance; leaning down like that.

One of them leaped into a pot hole beside a cap. It was filled with dirty water. He splashed around and made some ripples. One by one they leaped from the caps into the pot hole puddles and each one rap tap tapped the surface of the water. Sounded like steel drums and merged kind of nice with the string popping sound that had never stopped.

It felt like a barrel had been tapped. Maybe this was broken note river.There were no reigns there; no plastic fingers waving right or wrong; good or bad. just a something and whatever it was began mushrooming into a country or a planet or maybe a uni-verse. The grounds crew began to dance and so did I.

I looked up. Matt Clark was in the middle of sort of hitting his first career home run. Sort of because it was a miniature golf, 7 iron, the ball up up and away like a fractal into into the Miller Park geometry night…a pop fly and then a deep fly, a bird, a golf ball, a meteor crashing back to earth and Geoncarlo Stanton looks sloppy Joe on the other side of right field wall. That ball is somewhere else

and something else. Matt Clark now has one home run in the major leagues and Wily Peralta did what he’s done many times this year; win after the team suffered however many losses in a row. Final Score; Brewers 4, Marlins 1.

The Brewers are 75-71 and this is as good a time of year as any to take a canoe ride or string together a bunch of pickle buckets, lay some bamboo over the top and drop that sucker in a body of water and float down river, see where this goes right there.

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