Thursday, October 06, 2011

RIP Bob Cassilly

In following the NY Times' Steve Jobs obituary I noticed the obit for Bob Cassilly, whose name I didn't know but who was the creative force behind the St. Louis City Museum, among other freewheeling art installations. Cassilly died last week at 61 while doing some solo bulldozing at the cement factory site he'd been developing into another playground.

I'd say in memory that the City Museum is maybe the most fun place I've visited as an adult, or at least the one that legitimately made me feel like a kid. (Nate too, I know.) Reading about Cassilly's death immediately reminded me of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's freak stingray accident: here's a grown man pursuing this fun childlike wonderment, and tragedy strikes in a way that seems not only terrible but uniquely unfair. But I guess whimsy is like any other worldly quality, and you run the same risks in energetically seeking it out. I think you have to call that admirable, even while it's deflating.

In any case, there's only so much you can realistically leave behind, and if it's the City Museum then you've made a good go at it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Dept. of Felicitous Sports Outcomes

My office runs a fun little $5-a-week pick 'em football pool, and actually the office building itself runs another one where you don't have to put anything in. So that's double your chance to win! And I did win both this week, thanks to my uniquely accurate football insights. Consequently I am enjoying some modest but still unprecedented Tuesday cash prizes. Cash prizes improve a Tuesday. I will be spending the proceeds, essentially, on more pick 'em as the season progresses. But, if my football insights prove their unique accuracy again, well, that time it'll be all gravy.

It's also nice to get a few props in the office for something non-work-related. Picking football winners requires somewhat more skill than the dice game we play with Mom's family but somewhat less skill than, say, Battleship.

Fortunately I don't expect this to be any kind of gateway to organized sports gambling behavior, which I find completely repelling. It already kind of creeps me out that I cared about the total score of the Monday Night Football game, which is the tiebreaker that pushed me over the top.

In conclusion, it's nice to win things. Meanwhile, in the realm of "actual" football, for what that's worth, I've watched three out of the four Steelers games this year, and you can probably figure out my impressions about that without my saying anything.