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Saturday, October 12, 2002

On a typical Saturday, I sleep late, putter around the house most of the day, work outside a little and watch TV until well after midnight. So far (and it's not nearly midnight yet, so things could change) this has been a typical Saturday with a few exceptions.

Exception No. 1 is the message David left on my answering machine while I was out running errands. I knew the game started at 1:20 pm, and I knew that even after sleeping late I could make it to the post office and back in time for the first pitch.

I now know, by the way, why my mailbox was empty yesterday. There was about three day's worth of mail in it today, including a trade paper that I always get on Thursdays.

The post office lobby is closed on Saturdays, but I could hear the mail sorters in the back, with the radio tuned loudly to the baseball pregame show. I go into that building every Saturday, and there's baseball on the radio every Saturday all summer, but this is the first time I've heard anything but rap or salsa music coming from the dark recesses. So I cut them no slack. Latecomers are welcome to the party, but that's no excuse for losing my mail for two days.

When I got home, I had a message from David. He wanted to know what time the game started, and he said something else that was garbled. He must have been calling from a poor reception area. I phoned back and left a voice mail message answering his question. "The game is starting right now."

He called back a couple of hours later. He had indeed been in a poor reception area. He was in the hospital emergency room. He broke his foot last night (horsing around with his friends, all of whom are a lot bigger than he is, so when they land on him they can do some damage) and waited twelve hours to go to the ER.

Well, here we go again. I don't know why these things keep happening to him (well, I do, but I'm not saying), but he always seems to be recovering from some injury. He always does recover, but meanwhile he won't be going to work for a few days.

He'll be staying home driving himself (and quite possibly others) crazy. Sitting around doing nothing is at the top of my favorites list, but it doesn't even show up on his. He's a goer and a doer, and when he's immobile and inactive, stay out of his way.

This little bump in the road isn't keeping him from going out with his friends again tonight, of course. Maybe, just maybe, they'll be a little more careful with him, just this once.

Exception No. 2 that kept this from being a typical Saturday was the fact that the Giants are playing October baseball for the first time in thirteen years. Not just playing, but leading their playoff series, two games to none. (2-1 after they lost to the Cardinals today, but still leading.)

I think 13 is a magical number. The Giants were in the World Series the year I turned thirteen (1962), and they didn't get back there until the year Eric turned thirteen (1989). Now here it is thirteen years later and they're two wins away from making it to the World Series for the third time since they moved to San Francisco in 1958. If they'd won today, they'd be one win away.

It's not atypical for me to spend a Saturday watching a baseball game, but watching my team play in a game that could get them to the league championship is way different. I watch other teams play out of my love for the game. I watch my team play to see them win. That means I'm looking at the umpires' calls with a more critical eye, and I'm second-guessing the manager with a little more zeal.

There's no neutral ground or esthetic appreciation here, just fanatic, teeth-clenching, hyperventilating living-and-dying-on-every-pitch. Fun? Relaxing? Not exactly, but how about passionate? It's not a bad thing to be obsessed, right? Right? Huh?


Clouds at sunset.

Other than all that, this was a typical Saturday. I slept late, moved the sprinkler around the garden (and watched the birds frolic in the spray), listened to some music (the Americana channel was playing the Rolling Stones), and cleared some shows off TiVo (Haunted, The West Wing, Friends, Hack (I'm working my way through the week)). I did a load of laundry, which is typical not of a Saturday necessarily but of whatever day I have nothing left to wear. I even got some work finished, which is typically easier to do on Saturday than it is during the week when I'm getting paid for it. I like my Saturdays.

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