But their fielding is better than I've seen on casual picnics or some leagues elsewhere. I didn't see shortstops and third basemen hurling the ball over the first baseman's glove, for instance. One 1890s professional third baseman made FOUR errors on one batted ball:
1. the batter hit a grounder to him, and he flubbed fielding it
2. as the batter reached first, the third baseman grabbed the ball and hurled it over the first baseman's glove
3. as the batter rounded second and steamed toward third, the first baseman retrieved the ball and threw it back to third, where the third baseman again misfielded, ball got away....
4. as the batter ran toward home, the third baseman retrieved the ball and hurled it over the catcher's mitt.
Later, I ate at a WONDERFUL Italian restaurant (Italian food is my favorite, followed closely by Greek). The management had chosen people who LOOK stereotypically Italian (dark hair, etc). I mentioned to them that they should be happy because TODAY earlier I had been listening to Luciano Pavarotti, which got blank stares. I'm surrounded by teeny-boppers, but their service was excellent—courteous and classy—which of course one would expect from Italians (although one would also expect from Italians to wake up with a dead horse in bed and then to have one's feet tied to cement blocks and be sent down to feed the fishes, but thankfully they didn't do that--if they did, you'd ask where I'm writing from).
And the music in the restaurant was classical piano—such a wonderful relief from the chaotic racket that passes for music in so many places. When I find a hotel or restaurant that plays music like this AND cooks food like this AND serves it with style like this, I'm tempted to go there as regularly as possible.
A friend asks if I like Nessun dorma. 'Rondine Al Nido' and 'Recondita Armonia' and 'Torna a Surriento' had been running through my mind, but he’s right—I should also do 'Nessun Dorma'. The friend suggested Paul Potts, whom I’d not heard of, so I listened to his official video of 'Nessun Dorma'—I chose that one because he mentioned both that song and that singer. Potts’ controls his voice quality well, very calm compared to other tenors on the same song. Interesting interpretation
A lady says, ‘Finding an Italian wife who plays piano might be your answer.’ Another lady, knowing I like red hair, says, ‘I want to see an italian redhead.’ An Italian redhead would probably have to be northern Italian—from the part of Italy near Switzerland and Austria. The southern Italians are probably almost entirely brunette.’ An Italian says I must visit her Italian cousins. I reply, since she loves Jewish customs, that I’ll come as long as I don't have to observe Jewish customs. I'm a Gentile Christian, as in Acts 15. She says I should come for their dairy holiday—‘meaning tons of high carb food like cheese cake and babka and French bread and salmon’.
Speaking of food, I later had wonderful dinner with a pastor and his two helpers (daughters), aged 10 and 6. I drew pictures with the older, artistic one; celebrated life with the younger, social one (who also befriended kids at the next table)—I said, 'You're a happy person, right? And lots of people are very sad. We want them to be happy, too, true? So you're going to go around spreading sweetness and light and good cheer and make everyone happy whether they like it or not! Yeah!'; and talked theology and ministry with their dad, a congenial, intelligent man. And a good time was had by all.
A lady who heard this liked it, and not surprisingly so, because she IS the epitome of the happy person who spreads good cheer whether people like it or not, God bless her! I don't know how MANY people's lives she's benefited this way.
Another lady says, ‘I love that you make every meal an event, every conversation a learning experience, every church service a cultural exchange....it is so refreshing to know someone who LIVES every day instead of just existing.’ Well, thank you. Not EVERY meal and conversation, but, yes, frequently. And since she’s very musical, I also tell her I'm interested in partnering with singers who don't sing only their own compositions and therefore want original songs. And if they want to write their own music to my lyrics, that's fine, too. Hint, hint.’
A later lunch brought a stimulating conversation with a pastor whose father was politically connected in Mississippi, so i got to ask about Trent Lott, a recent razor-thin election victory in Mississippi, also national political issues. I've been interested in politics and law since elementary school, so I had fun asking about possible solutions to problems. I think that there is room in the middle for people to get things done. Eisenhower decided that extremists of the right and left were both unreasonable, so he passed legislation with the great middle. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill also got things passed by those two Irishmen working together. But, my friend said, there hasn't been bipartisanship in Washington for 25 years. Sad, because I can think of a few problems that can be solved by taking ideas from the left and right to combine into helpful package legislation.
One lady suggests, ‘If they need to budget. I think a good homemaker would do the best job.’ Another friend says, ‘What is that saying the right wing and the left wing both are on the same bird. I agree that in American politics if they can combine ideals together they would be successful. I am getting tired of seeing the American president in our Canadian news cycle as the chaos run amok because of self-inflicted wounds the president does.’
Then a reactionary friend harps on left and right wing. My understanding is that the terms 'right' and 'left' in the connotation of 'conservative' and 'liberal' have to do with on which side they sat on in France's fan-shaped parliamentary assembly hall. The conservatives, who supported the monarchy, sat on the king's right; the liberals, who supported a republic, sat on the king's left. And now in the USA, the opposite: the Republicans sit to the left of the chairman and the Democrats to the right. Ho ho ho.
A lady says, ‘I consider myself a moderate. It's a lonely position to hold these days when things are so polarized. Has been lonely for quite a while. The diatribe is why I don't post anything political. Can't stand the bickering. When did we lose the ability to disagree politely? Or just keep our mouths shut. Like anyone changes anyone's mind by insulting them.’ She’s right that people don't change someone else's mind by insulting. You can usually tell people's ignorance by their arrogance because, generally speaking (yes, there are exceptions), people's brilliance and humility go together because the more they know, the more they are aware of how much exists that they didn't know. Today, with the internet bringing worldwide knowledge to our fingertips, to use this resource only to get our 'news' from rabid extremist sources on either side is a great pity.