Another One

It seems the legends are dropping like flies. They’re not – three weeks isn’t exactly the same day, but it’s awfully close. Joan Rivers passed away after complications from throat surgery. Not plastic surgery; a routine surgery on her throat, something that people consider not to be a big deal. But, surgery is surgery, no matter how routine it is. So, cardiac arrest, medically-induced coma, and finally, her daughter made the heart-wrenching decision to turn off life support.

Much like Robin Williams, I knew of her since I was a kid. Granted, there wasn’t much that she did that was appropriate for kids – not even Spaceballs – but still; being allowed to stay up when she guest-hosted The Tonight Show was a treat. Even when her world crashed around her – late-night show cancelled, Vegas contract ended, widowed by suicide – she didn’t quit. Well, she had a daughter to take care of, she couldn’t. Moms do that. I had no idea what my mom had done to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, keeping our lives as normal as possible, until years later. I didn’t find out from her – she never told me anything. No bad news. Considering the other positions she put me in, it seems a bit contradictory. I don’t know if she thought she was protecting me, or herself. Probably a bit of both. She did try; she really did.

Smokestacks celebrate a run or a K.
Smokestacks celebrate a run or a strikeout (K).

This isn’t about her, though, this is, well, I don’t know what it’s about. I suppose I’m really doing a stream-of-consciousness thing today. The football season started this past Thursday with a Seahawks home win over the Packers. Today, though, it *really* starts, and I am very excited about it. Mom gave me that one, actually; she’s the one who taught me about baseball and football. We never got to go to a football game together – more than we could really afford – but we’d been to a couple baseball games. Including September 12, 1985, the day after Pete Rose had his 4,192nd hit. He wasn’t in the lineup that night, but he did come out to acknowledge the fans, which was very cool. We stood for fifteen minutes for him; I counted. Classy, he’s not, but he’s ours, and we love him. Yes, he belongs in the Hall of Fame. All those asterisks and men who did things far worse than gamble, and they’re still in there. There are some who affected the outcome of games by altering their physiology. They’re not in there; Sosa, McGuire, Palmiero probably won’t make it, but they weren’t banned. Every time the discussion comes up, the overwhelming majority of Cincinnatians say yes, he belongs in there.

We have a few subtle tributes to him at Great American. Those steamboat smokestacks are ringed with bats – seven on each stack, total of 14, Pete’s number. It’s not the only one; the place where 4,192 hit is also marked with a rose garden, a sea of red surrounding  a white rose bush, where that ball hit the ground in the old Riverfront Stadium. We were very happy he was able to do it here instead of Chicago; it was a close thing, but he had to play, he couldn’t not be Charlie Hustle.

Today, though, it’s about football, and I am excited! Choir started this past Thursday too, although I manged to lose an entire week somewhere, so I completely missed our first rehearsal. Our retreat is next Saturday, though, and we have our 2nd rehearsal this Thursday. I do have a few concerns about that lost week – I’ve never missed the first rehearsal or first service of the season, and I didn’t even pay attention to when our retreat actually was. September sort of snuck up on me. There are a few other things that concern me, that may be related. I’d rather not think about that.

All that stress from work is apparently getting to me. Oh well, not much I can do about that. Not if I want to keep paying my bills, and doing things like buying a book – or rather, a voucher for a book – and a place in line for a signature, and a t-shirt. Monday night I will be at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Rookwood, getting the final book in a series signed by the author. It will be my second signed book by her. I only feel a little badly because I haven’t read the last two yet. I suppose that means that, unlike when I got The Deathly Hallows (yes, I was in Barnes & Noble for the midnight release), I can’t get home and make myself comfortable and start reading. I mean, I could, it just wouldn’t make much sense since I hadn’t read the previous book or two. There’s also the fact that I have to go to work on Tuesday. I did take a half day; Get in there in the morning, get something done, then leave before the lack of sleep catches up to me. Much better than going in late when everyone’s been up and raring to go.

Bit scattered, sorry. Having trouble gathering the thoughts all in one place. I haven’t even been out with my camera for fun since the end of July. I need to do something about that. Last time I went that long, I wasn’t in the best place. Things are looking up, though. Oktoberfest and the Comic Expo are coming up, the Renaissance Festival has begun, and I’m going twice – once with my sister, which I’m pretty excited about – and of course, the leaves are changing; perfect time to get back out with my camera. Perfect time to make myself go out.

I hope to have my thoughts better-arranged for you next time. These peeks into my brain are a little scary.

Joan Rivers Visit's "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" - March 29, 2011
The world just got a little less funny. Robin Williams from “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.”

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