1. The Tigers just lost a series 2-1 to the Twins, their first series loss since before the All-Star break. If the Tigers end up winning the division - and their ten game lead is looking nice right now - then I'm rooting for any team besides the Twins to get the Wild Card. In other words, Go Yankees! Or, even harder for me, Go White Sox! I just don't think there's a better 1-2-3 league in baseball than Liriano-Santana-Radke, and that's the kind of team that could really kill in a short series. This feeling is also probably the result of last time the Tigers made it to the Playoffs - 1987, what a great season - they lost to the Twins in five games. This Twins team reminds me of that one, a team full of great pitching and a lot of guys that would be fun to root for if I didn't hate the team so much. They're a team that I hate because I respect them so much, though, a team that has been a rival for nearly twenty years. I just don't want to see them in the postseason.
2. For the last few months, every now and then I've seen a guy at the gym who looked familiar. This happens a lot at the gym, though, as you see people there just once in a while, and you never really talk with them, so they become somewhat familiar faces just through repetition. However, I saw this guy today, and he was wearing a Michigan State shirt, and then it clicked that I probably knew him from back home. I went up to him and talked to him, and he said that he'd been thinking the same thing about me, and had wanted to ask me before if I had gone to MSU. Not only did we both go to Michigan State, but we both lived in the same dorm, and he DJ'd in the coffeehouse venue I started up in the basement of Akers Dorm. I just had dinner with his old RA the week before last up in Michigan. What a small world. We actually exchanged e-mails and said we should get together for Spartan games this fall and winter. We'll see if it happens. I'll admit a small fantasy of starting up a Baltimore MSU Alumni Chapter, as my buddy is an officer (maybe even President?) of the DC Alumni group, and he's always talking about the fun things they do. I've seen a couple games down there with the group, and it is a good time. I also happened to be in NYC last year during a Spartans Basketball game, and watched it with the MSU Alumni group there, and that was a lot of fun. Hmmm. I wonder how many Spartans live in Baltimore?
3. I really am not enjoying Sherman Alexie's Reservation Blues, which is summer reading for my tenth graders next year. I'm trying to figure out why, exactly, as there are some funny parts and parts where there is great writing. It just is all so scattershot, though. Too self-consciously clever. I don't much like the characters, and some have barely dileanated themselves apart from one another. A colleague tells me I should rent Smoke Signals, the movie based upon a book (The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, which I liked better since it was a collection of short stories, so it had reason to be disjointed), because then the characters become richer, but I've had three Netflix movies sitting for the longest time on my shelf and don't really want to add to my "To Watch" pile when I'm clearly not turning onthe TV or DVD player more than once a week anyway. Oh well. It was more tolerable today, and hopefully tomorrow I can be done with it and never think about it again until I have to write the summer reading quiz and then discuss it with students. Next on the list of my never-decreasing-books-I-need-to-read-before-school-starts-because-of-these-two-new-classes? Brave New World. I started that one a few years ago and never finished it, disinterested. I just felt like it was poor man's version of 1984, and actually reminded me of an X-Files episode. Then I got daydreaming about Gillian Anderson, and lost my focus, and put the book down, never picking it up again. I'm going into it with an open mind, though.
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