Another year, another ‘auld lang syne’

So it’s 2018.  That’s a year that would have been impossibly science-fiction when I was young.  I mean, where are the flying cars and robots to keep house (roombas don’t count)?

I don’t feel much like celebrating.  I guess I will, a little, if I manage to put the right year on things.  Good thing checks aren’t part of my world view right now.  I’d be in a world of hurt.

Humor’s not much of a part of my world view either.  Tom has had some bad times lately — last night he talked about yellow forms that he’d gotten at the hospital (he hadn’t and he wasn’t there) and how we had cats (‘kitties’, he said).  Except that we don’t.  I’d like to, I think it might help him feel less alone during the day, but we don’t have 1) a $300 pet deposit (non-refundable) and an additional amount on the month’s rent that I barely able to keep up as it is.

A cat might help me, too.  I try hard not to feel depressed, but it’s so hard to watch Tom slowly deteriorate.  I love him so much, but he keeps calling me “Ma” or “Kyle” (his sister’s name) and I have to remind him who I am.  As a Christian, I know I’m not alone, but I feel that way anyhow.  I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, but I really wish I could find someone to talk to about all this. When the day comes that I lose him, I don’t know what I’ll do.  I love him so much.

Ah, well.  Onwards, upwards et en avant.  2018 will go on and we will have to live in it.

A Team of Heroes

There are a lot of words you could use to describe the 2016 Cleveland Indians: “overachieving”, “scrappy”, “tough” and “enthusiastic” are just a few that come to mind.

But what’s impressed me most this season (besides Tyler Naquin’s inside-the-park home run) is how there’s not just ‘one guy’ on this team doing all the heavy lifting.  Sportswriters and broadcasters love to talk about how ‘so-and-so’ has strapped this team on his back and taken them to new heights.  Not this bunch.

One night the heroics are Jason Kipnis’ or Mike Napoli’s.  The next night it’s a great outing by Trevor Bauer or Corey (“Klubot”) Kluber.  Or an outstanding outing (with a save, where appropriate) from any one of the bullpen.  A dazzling defensive play by Francisco Lindor.  An unexpected home run from any of the guys in the bottom third of the order.  There’s no one guy on this team who makes things happen.  This team makes things happen, and that’s what has been so great about this season and especially this post-season.

That’s why I’ve got a feeling that what ESPN called “The Little Engine That Could” — will. That’s why I expect to be standing out in a cold October or November day watching the guys go by on cars or buses or whatever with about a million of my closest friends.

Right now, there’s the Blue Jays to watch out for.  I’m hearing the same things about Toronto that I heard about Boston.  Watch out for their hitting.  Their pitchers are unhittable. It didn’t stop us before.  I am cautiously optimistic (and occasionally superstitious) that we can do it again, and go on to the World Series.

Whoever we’re up against then, they’ll face not just one hero, but a team of them, made up of:

  • Mike Napoli’s leadership
  • Jason Kipnis’ hitting
  • Corey Kluber’s emotions (yes, that’s a joke)
  • Rajai Davis’ quiet confidence
  • Lonnie Chisenhall’s aim with a tray of Gatorade cups
  • Francisco Lindor’s enthusiasm and exuberance (and great defense)

and everything and everyone else who has contributed to this game, including Cookie Carrosco and Michael Brantley, who were in the locker room in Boston during the ALDS finish there, and Danny Salazar and the crew working away in Arizona in case they’re needed before the final win.

And as an Indians’ fan who has followed this team since she was 11 (in 1972) through a handful of ups and an awful lot of downs, that’s good enough for me.

And on your way out …






2016 struck again.

I was bemused by Bowie, bewildered by Rickman and struck dumb by Prince.

But only Gene Wilder (so far) has made me cry.

Mr. Wilder lived a long life and was a comic genius whose films will be important as long as there is someone around to remember them.

Somehow, though, his passing seems the biggest loss to me.  There is a shortage of gentle spirits in this increasingly hostile world, and today, humor in the media seems based on so many wrong things.  Maybe that’s what I’m mourning, that the style and wit that Gene Wilder contributed to his work will go missing from now on.

All I know is (even though, in fairness, this isn’t what I really believe, deep down) that I hope Gilda, Marty Feldman, Madeleine Kahn, Peter Boyle, Cleavon Little, Richard Pryor and all the others who went before Mr. Wilder get to form a rep company and entertain us all in eternity.

RIP,  sir.  You are truly going to be missed.

Daybook, 6/14/2016

For today…

Outside my window… What I would take for a beautiful day in early September, if I didn’t know better
I am thinking… being fairly sure that I will be laid off by the end of the week
I am thankful for… the Lord who loves me, even when I most assuredly don’t deserve it
From the kitchen… hummus and garlic toast sticks
I am wearing… purple shirt with black slacks
I am reading… through all my Betty Neels books on Kindle
I am hoping… that all will be well
I am creating… nothing at the moment.
I am praying… for support through the rough times
Around the house… cleaning, cleaning, toujours cleaning:)
One of my favorite things… Sleep; very precious to me.

Just living for today.  A big mistake to look any further out than that.

When the Doves Cry …

1401x788-prince-extralarge_1412016787658You can’t help knowing you will survive a lot of people you know directly or who have managed to make themselves part of your life at a remove. It goes with the whole “who knows?” thing, when it comes to death.

But when I signed onto Facebook this afternoon and saw a post by someone who doesn’t rush to post stuff and is pretty reliable, saying that Prince Rogers Nelson, aka “Prince” or even “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” was believed to be dead, I couldn’t comprehend it.

This has been a crap year for celebrity deaths. Some of them weren’t a complete surprise; Abe Vigoda and Doris Roberts had reached or passed the 90 year marker. Bless them — they had long and productive lives.

But so many of the others, especially in the field of the arts: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Vanity, Maurice White, Glenn Frey, Lemmy from Motorhead, Natalie Cole, Keith Emerson and Paul Kantner — even Patty Duke … I mean, I’m 55 and these guys aren’t THAT much older than me (except Maurice White). Each death has been like a punch from a much bigger boxer, leaving one shocked and breathless and aching – a little or a lot.

And now Prince. I commented on someone’s post that I was shocked that Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Prince didn’t even make it to 60. Their music meant a lot to me, mostly because out of all the eras of popular music, it’s 80s music I think I love the best. And now someone who was a major part of that is gone, in the snap of a finger, it feels like.

2016 isn’t even a third over. I’m almost afraid to wonder what’s in store for the rest of it.

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart …

(An open letter from a non-Quebec Canadiens fan of 40+ years to Geoff Molson)

I’ve heard for years that we sports fans shouldn’t invest our hearts in the sports we love, that sports is only a business for the owners and front offices of the teams we support.

Certainly as a sports fan in Cleveland, I know about heartbreak. Clevelanders can tell the tragedies like a Catholic can the beads on a rosary: Red Right 88, the Drive, the Fumble, the Shot, the ’97 Indians one out away from a World Series title — even the Decision. We’re used to it. I think we even expect it.

But I didn’t expect it from the Habs. I walked around on air for the first two weeks of the season or so — I mean, who wouldn’t? A 9-0 start, and even after the first loss, our team played tough. Even after Carey Price went down. We thought we might see it through. Then Carey went down again. And apparently the wheels came off.

We’re not stupid, we Habs fans. We know how injuries — even one key injury — can devastate a team. But by a certain point in the season, it really felt from the stands (or in our living rooms) that the guys on the ice were demoralized. Michel Therrien couldn’t keep his hands off the lines, even when they were working. He gave far too much ice time to players who didn’t merit it and virtually benched guys who should have been playing.

Let me say one thing that is really apparent to me. Michel Therrien is clueless about developing young talent. Does anyone remember the gripe againt Jacques Martin? That he overplayed his veterans? That seems to be the case with Therrien, as well. Not to mention that playing well wasn’t the key to more ice time for the kids. The joke on Twitter during the game when a young player scored or made a great play was — “Oh, well. Therrien will bench him now (or yell at him).”

And now it’s rumored that Marc Bergevin wants to award this misfeasance by keeping Therrien instead of firing him or demoting him. Mr. Molson, this is unconscionable. Many businesses have failed over the last 30 years or so because they seem to subscribe to the Peter Principle: “Choosing a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role.” I haven’t seen anything in Therrien’s performance that fits him to develop a young team into something worth putting on the ice. It doesn’t help that Marc Bergevin, who we all had high hopes for, can’t seem to get any pieces for the Habs top lines. He’s great at securing lots of 3rd and 4th liners, but that’s not where this team’s needs are.

Please. Please do not let M. Bergevin reward Michel Therrien. Bring in a new coach — a Marc Crawford or Guy Boucher — who might be able to make (good) things happen.

And while we’re on the subject of Michel Therrien, you need to sit him down and explain to him that he needs to learn to get along with P.K. Subban. The new rumor on the Interwebz implies that because MT can’t get along with our Norris-winning defenseman, P.K. may be on the block. If you think people would be unhappy if Therrien stayed, that’s nothing compared to the reaction if P.K. goes.

Just sayin’


Janet Aldrich
Habs Fan in Ohio since 1978

Daybook, 1/19/2016

For today…

Outside my window… Snow, snow, snow, snow (et neige).
I am thinking… about Tom’s health and what it will mean for us in the short term.
I am thankful for… my friends.
From the kitchen… peanut butter sandwiches.
I am wearing… black suit with black and white blouse.
I am reading… Harry Potter fanfiction on SIYE (Sink Into Your Eyes).
I am hoping… that the doctors will be able to help Tom.
I am creating… nothing at the moment.
I am praying… for patience, peace and strength
Around the house… cleaning, cleaning, toujours cleaning 🙂
One of my favorite things… Sleep; very precious to me.

Not planning any further out than today … hope I don’t have issues with getting home today like yesterday’s!

I’m gonna love you forever …

I’ve never seen this e.e. cummings poem before; a friend of mine on Facebook (Thanks, Dale) posted it as a comment and I just found it so beautiful, I wanted to share it.

My husband and I will have been married 23 years come May 22. We’ve been through some not-so-great times (I think of the Orleans song “Still The One” … “sometimes I never want to see you again”), some lovely times and lots of days that just were. He’s been ill lately and all the kerfluffle of the hospital is stressful and sometimes frightening.

The bottom line is, despite everything, I still love him very much.  This poem does a great job of expressing that.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)