Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Summer Wind

I really planned this summer with the best of intentions. I would read those books I always wanted to get to but never did. I would rent movies I always wanted to see. I'd force myself to listen to music I’d always avoided (Mahler, anyone?).
You know where this is going.
True, I did put “The Charterhouse of Parma” on my night table. And I bought the Criterion Collection DVD of “The Rules of the Game” and watched the movie and was mystified by all the claims of masterpiece, which can only mean I’m a schmuck, right? So I said I would watch it again and reconsider my opinion.
Never got around to it, though.
And we can forget Mahler.
So what did I do?
Well, I read Ron Suskind’s “One Percent Doctrine,” about Bush and his Little Rascals and the flaws in our intelligence system. Very depressing. Then I started Thomas Ricks’s “Fiasco,” which is reporting of the first rank. But it depressed me more than Suskind’s book. To seek escape, I searched a bookshelf and found several Inspector Morse mysteries and read those. Certainly more entertaining than contemplating Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
As for movies, two good ones: “Wordplay” (or is it “Word Play?), about crossword puzzle champs. And “Little Miss Sunshine,” a dark comedy.
I did get to a few ball games while visiting San Diego. Great new stadium. And while I'm glad the Padres are gointg to the playoffs, I’m really psyched about the Mets. No interest in a subway series now that I’m out here. And I have some allegiance to the A’s, but in a series with the Mets, I’d have to root for the boys from Shea (I’m wearing a Mets cap as I write).
Which leads to my one genuine insight of the summer (actually I had another: that the Doors’s song, “Twentieth Century Fox,” is a homage to Rogers' and Hart’s “The Lady is a Tramp”).
The other insight?
That you know you’re getting old when a baseball park is going to be torn down and you attended the first game ever played there.
I refer to Shea Stadium. Accompanied by my father and uncle (all of us in ties and jackets, by the way), I was at Shea on April 17, 1964. The Mets, of course, lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3. Before the game, there were lots of speeches (Mayor Wagner, team owner Joan Payson, Bill Shea, the lawyer who had been instrumental in bringing the National League back to New York). According to my memory, the day was sunny and clear . After the game, we met my mother and aunt and had Chinese food, an exotic cuisine for me then.
A few weeks ago at Petco Park in San Diego, I had dinner with a friend in a Japanese restaurant IN the ballpark. As we ate our raw tuna and salmon, we could watch batting practice from our table. The tab was $90. Which just goes to show how much has changed over the years. And how I’m getting old.
Let’s Go Mets!


Post a Comment

<< Home