Sunday, September 28, 2008

A good day for baseball in Wisconsin

Today the Brewers managed something they haven't done since I was two years old. They made the playoffs.

Granted, there was a time when I thought they might win the division. And then there was awhile when I thought they had the wild card spot comfortably in hand. But all in all, to end a season with a day of baseball like today is not a bad thing. Days like today remind me of why, when I manage to pay attention, I do love this game.

I'm not the world's biggest Brewers fan, but I grew up on Brewers games. I've never attended a game at Miller Park, but as a child I saw many at County Stadium. My dad must be pretty happy right now. The picture above is him on the field at County Stadium ten years ago, on a day when his friend threw the first pitch. This might eclipse that experience for him. (Actually, if I know my dad, he's already predicting a loss in the first round.)

Admittedly, I don't remember much from the 1982 World Series run. My parents do have a yellowing pennant hanging down the basement with names that are still familiar to me. Paul Molitor. Cecil Cooper. Robin Yount. Here's hoping they get to add another one with some new names. CC Sabathia, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun? Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Haunted by the American Dream

The Forward Music Festival is a new venture for Madison, featuring two days' worth of music spread out around downtown. I bought early, securing a two-day pass for $25. Not too shabby. My chief interest was in Friday night's featured show at the Orpheum: Neko Case and Giant Sand.

Last time I saw Neko, I was somewhat underwhelmed. I'm happy to report that this wasn't the case on Friday. Neko and her band delivered a fun, engaging show that made the ninety-plus minutes fly. The set included many new songs from Middle Cyclone, due in March. Sometimes an abundance of new or unfamiliar songs can slow down the pace of a show, but I really enjoyed everything I heard. I'm very excited about the album, especially the title track. (Side note: for as many shows as I've seen at the Orpheum, Friday was the first time I saw a dog on stage. Props to Kelly Hogan's Augie for being adorable and well-behaved, as usual.)

Giant Sand was solid in the opening slot. I sometimes had a little trouble hearing Howe Gelb's vocals, but the music came through loud and clear. I also enjoyed Howe's deadpan humor and commentary throughout the set. And he gets points for the most unique method of guitar pick storage I've seen: he licks his picks and sticks them to the front of his guitar until they're needed.

Both Neko and Howe (especially Howe) entreated the audience to register to vote, and the HeadCount presence at the show was quite prominent. I had almost forgotten from four years ago how all of the autumn concerts I see begin to take on political undertones. It's exciting: I can't wait for November.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Alaska State Boggle Champ?

I just watched a clip in which McCain announced, "The next vice president of the United States is in the house!" as Sarah Palin waved, and I actually experienced a shiver of horror. I can't remember the last time that happened.

I am enjoying this ABC News interview, though. Charles Gibson hates Sarah Palin so hard.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I participated in three days of wedding festivities in Durham over the Labor Day holiday, for Lindsey and Vikas. It was a great weekend, full of delicious Indian food, henna, old and new friends, saris, ghee and rice, dancing, Indian percussion sticks, presents (for me and for the bride and groom), wedding cakes, Nelly songs, toasts, and a tremendous amount of love, good cheer and well wishes.

(I am getting slightly tired of comments about my mehendi, though. Even though it's all been positive. Is this what life is like all the time for people with real tattoos in prominent places? )