Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baseball & Books & Beer

I went to the Marlins game last night with a couple of friends. We had had notions on getting in on a sweet ticket promotion--box seats for only eight bucks (insert robotic comment link to similar promotion)!--but the game being a doubleheader threw off those plans. But, several parking lot beers and a handful of scalped tickets later we wandered into the stadium at about 8:30, as the majority of fans poured out, just in time for the second of the two games. Marlins vs. Diamonbacks. '90s expansion classic. Not particularly compelling baseball, but my general liking of baseball continues. Our seats were in the front row of the Marlins bullpen box, so afforded a decent view of the field of play as well as the delightful distraction of watching various pitchers warm up.

And trying to get the attention of the bullpen catcher, to get a baseball. But there were too many damn anklebiters around for cynical fatsos like myself to get any tossed-ball action. The damn wiener kids seated a few seats over from us, both of whom already had baseballs, kept asking the catcher for more. WTF, kids. F-ing Miami, materialists, greedy. Daddy I want two Mercedeses. As with any slow baseball game, though, this ball-distraction and related cynicism added to the quality of banter, and I think I really had my A-game out last night, in terms of my cynical/witty/caustic/etc running commentary.

The game went into extra innings as well. We didn't stick it our for the whole thing, but were there in the ninth inning when Cody Ross, the Marlins' right fielder, popped out with the bases loaded. And then listened on the radio in the I guess it was eleventh, when Cody Ross hit into a double play with the bases loaded. Which, while it sucks, is kind of awesome, because Ross is inexplicably popular with the fans down here. I guess he's the kind of guy you can't help but like. Short, ugly, hard-working, bats around .250 with generally unimpressive numbers, but looks appropriately unhappy with himself after batting and fielding mishaps to keep the fans cheering for him. I think there were several years around the turn of the millenium where the Pirates fielded entire teams made up of Cody Ross types. So that's probably why I was so quick to scorn the guy. But he earned his scorn.

In other news, I did just complete my becoming a Richard Powers completist. His first couple books are okay, nothing special, but definitely concretize my sense of who he is as a novelist. I think Jack's comparison to Brahms is very apt, but I've been scratching my head in trying to flesh out more author-to-composer analogies. Pynchon is Berlioz? And who is the Petterson of novel-writing? Who writes the angriest, crunchiest novels?

It kind of makes me want to do more entire-corpus reading. I also remembered the other day that I've read all of Curtis White's books. But no one's ever heard of him. I've come close on a few other authors over the years, like Philip K. Dick, Faulkner, Barthelme, Kundera (plus a few of those "science" writers we like so much have had most of their book-length publications read by yours truly (Dawkins, Dennett, Hoftstadter, Pinker, Diamond). And read the complete poems of several poets. I guess Philip Roth occurs to me as the next writer that I could go through a major phase on. I really liked American Pastoral, and the Human Stain, so it makes sense to go back and read his other 30 books from the last what? like 50 years? And once David Foster Wallace has been dead longer I'll go back and pick up the scraps of the books of his I haven't read (though I don't think that'll include trying to reread his book on infinity).

And finally, although my current jobless state should demand a certain amount of fiscal responsibility (it does and is), I'm sneaking off to Delaware next weekend with a few friends from the program down here, for a weekend vacation at a friend's parents' beach house. How can I rationalize such a thing? Dude's parents' beach house is, apparently, maybe 10 minutes away from Dogfishhead Brewery/Pub. Can't miss it. I'll be taking requests all week for beers you'd like me to drink on your behalf, fresh from the source.


Blogger Jack said...

Yeah, "Cody Ross" does sound like the name of a guy who might have gotten picked last before that game.

I don't like the idea of being a completist in anything. Life is short and you need to diversify.

Have a good time in Delaware - I only went out there once, but I remember it being a fine, fine beach. The beer you should drink for me is refreshing and not too hoppy. (Actually, I tasted someone else's Dogfish Head apricot something something a couple weekends ago, and it was quite good. But you're probably aware of any elitist beer developments I could tell you about.)

5/21/2009 11:05 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Have a 120 minute IPA. I think Jack is talking about the Aprihop (there's still a couple in our fridge at home which were leftover from college), which is okay but I bet the 120 is pretty good. 90 is a fair amount better than 60, so 120 should be a fair amount better than 90, right?

5/22/2009 11:12 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Probably, but there's got to be an effect of diminishing IPA-minute returns that sets in someplace. Quite frankly, I'd expect a utility-maximizing beer user to consume their IPA-minutes where their value is strongest, say, distributed among twelve 10-minute IPAs instead of concentrated in one 120-minute IPA. I'm not sure if that's exactly the optimal equilibrium, but it is a party, dude.

Cody Ross went 1 for 2 last night with a run.

5/22/2009 11:44 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

The 120 is an intense intense beer. I'd say three people at the least for a 12 oz. bottle. (20% alcohol; they commissioned brand-new yeasts that could survive such alcohol contents, apparently).

The 90 is pretty much the best beer in America (of course its not, but its way way up there). I don't necessarily drink it all that often, but every time I do, my reaction is "This beer is so good, every time I drink it."

I was trying to think if there'd be anything seasonal up there this time of year. Unfortunately, summer isn't really beer season, so there may not be, but I wouldn't be suprised to find some Aprihop (I used to really like the aprihop, but maybe 3 or 4 years ago I feel like they changed their recipe to make it fruitier and it lost me there).

5/26/2009 5:20 PM  

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