Sunday, March 12, 2017

diary picklin’: turkeys, a gale of wind, star wars, a dash of weird al, and ¡viva italia! it’s the world baseball classic

We discussed everything we knew, during the first fifteen or twenty minutes, that morning, and then branched out into the glad, free, boundless realm of the things we were not certain about.
Mark Twain in A Tramp Abroad

So many turkey tracks around the cabin, down by the river, I wonder if I am living at the White House or on the grounds of Mar-a-Lago.

Plates of ice edge the river, edges lacy thin, snowflake patterns, and where the river rounds a bend one thick, opaque plate juts out over the water, the river flowing below and occasionally up against the underside of the ice. The color of the ice changes. Images rise and fall. Flowing patterns, varying shapes, fluid images, the river rises up, touches the ice, makes it dark, brown, grey then falls back making it light, white, grey, unpredictable, shapes passing by, random, but I wonder. Is there predictability? A scientific formula that if applied … I watch as dark amoeba spidery shapes form, flatten, fatten, recede, reduce to skeletons, disappear, reappear, flow, again, anew, and I appreciate the fluidity of pattern on that which is immobile but fragile, liable to break, cast off, drift away, any time, soon, random shapes, outside pattern—

The hillocks wear caps of snow two to three feet thick. Like top hats, bowlers, or something I’ve seen in a Star Wars movie but again—

A grey morning with shirring clouds, a battering wind, spits of rain, delicious and mild. Elliott, unaware of the virulent forecast, spent the night out. I woke to the thrumming noise of wind against metal punctuated by an occasional riff of rain against glass. I pushed Josie away from the curl of my belly to stumble through the dark to the door, opened the door to a gust of wind and rain, called for Elliott. Once. Twice. Turned on the outside light, waited, went back to bed, curling around Josie. Meow. Meow meow. I got up, stumbled through the dark, opened the door to a gust of wind and rain and a jumpy, soggy Elliott. Wrapped him in a towel. Dried him off. Went back to bed curling around Josie.

I am curious about this World Baseball Classic.

Windbound—wind remains so strong with gusts so powerful we stay in lest we blow around and away like kites. Yesterday a full bucket of beeswax water flew 500 yards across the yard, down the drive. Now even heavy things are battened down, and this morning the wind whips around with highlights—teeny tiny spikes of snow. We crank up the fire, shut it down, a beautiful glow.

I watch the World Baseball Classic.

I make plans for a Cubs game. I learn it is Star Wars Day. One thing leads to another.

icy windswept snow
wandering fields

light on past through present changes
present light by history changed

Sub-zero wind chill watching Mexico v. Italy in the WBC. First game for both. I had already planned to root for Mexico, overall, just because, but now I wonder if I should have picked Italy, in honor of my Italy-loving sister, but, too late. Israel is my second favorite—they’ve got the mensch on a bench. (Mexico leads off with a home run.) And I like the Netherlands. “The Netherlands” has always confused me. Netherlands, Holland, the Dutch—all one and the same? I see no connection in the words. Shouldn’t people from Holland be “Hollanders”? And if they live in the Netherlands, why not “Netherlanders”? What does “Dutch” derive from? I should look this up. (Italy’s second batter hits a home run.) Differences between this game being played in Jalisco, Mexico and the ones I watched played in Seoul and Tokyo are 1) there is a crowd, and 2) they are outdoors, no dome. There are some odd rules for these games, including the Early Termination Rule, which I like because it sounds slightly sinister, exciting: Who will be terminated early? Mercy. Also, Italy is just Italy. Cuba just Cuba. No Cubs, Giants, Indians, Spaghetti Kings.

And just as I am befuddled by the Dutch being from Holland and, or maybe or, The Netherlands, what is the relationship between WikiLeaks and Wikipedia? None.

While on Wikipedia I might as well delve into this Holland thing. Aha! It begins to clear. Then they introduce Belgium, Flemish, the pot muddies. Perhaps it is complicated because it is complicated. But, the Dutch Caribbean (Caribbean Netherlands, BES islands, Isles of Holland, etc.) explains a lot when you look at the Netherlands roster.

¡Oye oye! ¡Otra vez carrera! ¡Viva México!

Italy answers: Fuori campo! Fuori campo!

El juego está knotted quatro a quattro in il quarto.

The top of the fifth and I’m making breakfast so it takes a while to realize Italy has brought in a two-handed pitcher. I mean, the guy throws right-handed and the guy throws left-handed and he’s got a special two-thumbed glove he can wear on whichever hand is not pitching. He switches which side he pitches from according to the batter’s handedness. Just like a switch-hitter. But I’ve never heard of a switch-pitcher. So what happens when a switch-hitter faces a switch-pitcher? Is that the definition of infinity? Perpetuity? Are there rules for this thing? (Of course, this is not new news.) Pitching left-handed, this guy strikes out Adrian González. But, overall, he gives up three runs, which is unfortunate, because by this time I’m rooting for Italy.

In the bottom on the ninth, down 9-5, Italy leads off with three quick doubles. Score, 9-7. Then: A bobbled grounder at short, man on first and third. Maggi at bat. Palla foul, palla foul, full count, palla foul, palla foul, (potential perpetuity?), palla foul … Camminare! Bases loaded! Nobody out … pitching change. -respiro profondo- Then: Line drive to right-center—caught?—no! 9-8! Then: A sharp grounder … it shoots off the second baseman’s glove … one run scores … another … Maggi slides across home plate body surfing over chalk-lined dirt … run scores! … Italia vincere!

¿Or should I say Vincere Italia!?

Oh Day What a.

The world she will blow
or so I’ve been told
but please wait a minute
I’ve a ballgame to finish.

Moonlight on frosted trees.
Morning so cold
there is no temperature.

Yesterday a six-hour, ten-inning marathon that started in the afternoon, stretched on into the evening, Josie took a break to bark, and bark and bark, and bark and bark and bark at full moon rising; in the end, Italy lost to Venezuela 11-10. Italy plays again today against Puerto Rico, a must-win to advance to the next round, continue this madness, and now I must catch up on last night’s other games—Puerto Rico v. Mexico, Cuba v. Israel—and this morning it’s Japan v. Netherlands.