bunt sign

Wednesday, October 3, 2001

My life is kind of revolving around baseball right now. (Even more than usual, I mean.) It's the last week of the season, and Barry Bonds is chasing a home run record, and the Giants are fighting for a berth in the playoffs. If they don't win, their season ends Sunday, which makes every game drip with tension, start to finish.

In April, I can watch games out of the corner of my eye while doing other things. In October, I can hardly take my eyes off the screen. At times, I can hardly breathe. I definitely can't sit in the lounge chair, so I've placed one of the green patio chairs in front of the TV. I sit there white-knuckled and follow every pitch, jumping up and shouting (or growling or howling, depending) when circumstances require a response. About once every inning I have to get up and pace, but the rest of the time I'm at my post.

So this obsession is affecting my life in several ways. Most importantly, of course, is my journal. I'm sitting gape-mouthed in front of the game telecast, doing nothing worth writing about, and thinking about balls and strikes and outs and runs (as opposed to my usual deep thinking, heh). By the time the game is over, I've used up the whole day. Not only do I have nothing to write about, but I've also run out of time. Hence these last few entries.

On the other hand, I think this has had a beneficial effect on my job. The games this week are starting in the late afternoon, when I'm ordinarily cleaning up all the messes I've made during the day. Lately I'm actually trying to get things done earlier. It's a wonderful way to get focused, for the focus-impaired, knowing that a three-hour hole will be ripped out of the waning daylight. If I could fool myself into thinking there was a reason to work that hard every day, I'd probably get through my to-do list early, instead of leaving it all for the last minute.

I'm losing track of my telenovelas, though. I'm working straight through General Hospital, looking up only when Luke and Laura are onscreen. I'm not catching up with everything TiVo is recording for me, and it's deleting movie after movie before I get a chance to watch it. (This is probably just as well, since it seems to have lost its mind. It recorded a movie called Grizzly Falls four times in the last couple of weeks. And it actually asked me during the second inning of tonight's game if it could please switch to BBC America so I could watch Monty Python's Flying Circus.)

Oh, and the news. I've lost track of the news, if there is any. I read the headlines on page one of the Chronicle every morning, so I know this much: The U.S. has shown NATO enough proof to convince it of bin Laden's guilt but refuses to share this information with the Taliban, apparently preferring not to give them the chance not to be a target. And this: The U.S. attorney general (I warned you in January about this guy) is whining because Congress hasn't taken advantage of our anxiety (to which Mr. Ashcroft has gleefully contributed) to go as far as he thinks it should in cutting back on civil liberties (of Americans, anyway; apparently no one cares about our foreign visitors).

Other than that, I haven't been following the news much. I only check in on CNN a couple of times a day now. I did try to watch the late local news last night but couldn't find any information worth the time I was spending. I had to turn it off before they even got to the sports and weather.

birdbath, butterfly garden

Another view of my garden.

Ah, but it's the poor garden that's suffering most from my neglect. For the first time since last winter, when trash night comes this week I won't be wheeling the yard waste container out to the curb. The games are starting at exactly the time I've been going out to pull weeds. I have managed to water every other day, but I'm not sure if the plants that are turning brown are doing so from neglect or for seasonal reasons.

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