January 15, 2011

Diary Dump

We've had a cavalcade of grimy, overcast days; I look at the skies and feel a twinge of the premature sentiment, "enough already!" The ghastly pall reminds me of a Victorian novel sans the jolts of dread. At midday the sun is steeped in sepia and trundled in clouds such that you can scarcely tell it from twilight. This is the cost of June weather, the bill that must be paid.

But there are always books, even though the fiction is dispiriting. At 72% into "Russian Debutante" , it's gotten to be a bit of slog, too "modern", too cynical, not redolent enough of beauty. (Ah, I forgot! I have more of "Seasons at Eagle Pond"!) Read the beginning of "Too Big to Fail" by Andrew Ross Sorkin. Engaging but not nearly as profitable as a big dab of "Verbum Domini". Rich, alluvial soil, and perfect diagnostics. Am still somewhat hungry for Betty Duffy's recommended novel ("Death of an Adversary") even though I suspect it's grim enough to match the weather.

So worked out at Urban Active gym while overlooking a grey industrial complex. I didn't think, but now do, of those magic days along the beach, working out in a gym with a constellation of waves and sun glint-lets. How long ago it seems now, perhaps because I didn't carry it around me with me as I might have. But how thrilling it was to bring my word 'puter to the pool and live the life (ever so briefly) of an ex-pat American author, in my mind's eye. It felt at once child-like (a wonder at the natural world) and seeming adult (the pleasure and blessing of leisure).

Not too long after breakfast I found my sea legs and traveled to far away Easton (25 minute drive) where a card dealer promised to buy baseball cards. I brought him seven or eight good ones, ones I was attached to primarily because of their value in others' eyes rather than for sentimental reasons. The pieces of art - like the grand old portrait of Whitey Ford* on the '61 Topps - were safely tucked away in their card berth while the rather prosaic Mike Schmidt rookie card came out with me. The only truly memorable card was the Rose rookie, which although I didn't have too much sentimental value (Rose's gambling and truthfulness troubles somewhat soured me on the Hit King) still hurt a tinge to sell. But then I'd not bought it romantically - that is in a pack of cards and treasuring it like a family heirloom - but much later in my collecting career when I had a job and money and began to look at the hobby in more investment terms. But it was nice to acquire some hard currency from pieces of cardboard I hadn't looked at in years.

* - I am far too young to have gotten the '61 Ford by buying it in a pack, but did get it at a relatively young age from a friend's uncle, which lent it sufficient sentiment. Ford looks like the grand mariner in it and yet he couldn't have been but in his 30s, which reminds me how anyone in their 30s was ancient to my thirteen-year old self. I could make no real distinctions between Whitey Ford in 1961 and Connie Mack in 1920. They were both old as dirt!

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