Friday, August 23, 2013

I'm Blue

On Wednesday, Patti promised a post about writing, even though it didn't seem like it in the beginning, and as always, she delivered. Well, I'm not making any such promises today. I am, in fact, taking liberties with you. Hope you don't mind.

Anyone who knows me, knows that my husband and I are big time baseball fans. More importantly, we're big time Dodgers fans. Living in northern California, the home of the San Francisco Giants---you know, the team that won two of the last three World Series---makes us the odd man out for six months of the year. That's okay. We don't mind. We bleed Dodger blue.

We watch every game, courtesy of MLB Extra Innings, and have been known to drive six hours to Dodgers Stadium, watch a game, and turn around and drive home, all in one day. And win or lose, we love our boys in blue. That assertion was put to the test this year when our season got off to a slow start. We were 30-42 (wins/losses) on June 22, and in last place in our division. Then on June 23, something happened. Things turned around. In a big way. After the All-Star break, the Dodgers had a stretch where they won 42 out of 50 games, which ties the best 50-game stretch by any MLB team since the 1942 Cardinals, and we're breaking all kinds of records. Suddenly, everyone's talking about the Dodgers.

So, what's that got to do with writing? As promised, nothing. But it sure gives this writer something to smile about. In a year that's been fraught with struggles and deep disappointments it's a bright (blue) spot in an otherwise difficult time in our lives.

Like a lot of other Dodgers fans, we're holding our breath, hoping and praying they can go the distance. I've not boasted on Facebook or Twitter about our wins and the long-standing records we're breaking. I've not ribbed our friends who are Giants fans---you know, the team that's bringing up the rear in our division (sorry, Debbie). I'm not doing any of that, because I don't want to jinx it. I don't believe in jinxes. I don't believe in luck. Still ...

As most every sports-minded person knows, Vin Scully has been the voice of the Dodgers,
announcing their games on radio and television since 1950---which is before I was born!---and what a fine, fine man he is. He doesn't just call the plays, he humanizes baseball like no other announcer in
any sport, anywhere, by telling human-interest stories about each player on the field in any given game. Like how one player's right-handed dad taught himself to pitch left-handed so his son could learn to hit a leftie or a rightie. Or how one young pitcher from Central America strengthened his arm as a boy by grinding corn for the tamales his grandmother made and sold every day to provide their living. Where else can you hear things like that? No where. It's possible that this is Vin's last year as the voice of the Dodgers---though we certainly hope not---and I can't think of a better way for him to end his amazing career than to see his beloved Dodgers win the World Series. Okay, it's not just for Vin Scully that I hope the Dodgers win the World Series, but you get my point.

So I'm holding my breath, and hoping. Cheering on my guys whether they win or lose, thanking them for the great entertainment they're providing this year, with my eye on October.

And so this isn't a total waste for all our faithful writer friends, here are two punctuation points to ponder:

First, Commas are important.

Why? One of my new favorite songs is "Empty" by Ray LaMontagne. It's a great, haunting song. I listen to it on Spotify over and over and over. To help me learn the words, I printed out the lyrics from a site that usually gets them right. In this case they only made one small mistake. The first line reads:  She lifts her skirt up to her knees, walks through the garden rows with her bare feet laughing.

Of course, that should be "bare feet, laughing." My feet have been known to bark on occasion, but they've never, ever laughed. However, I laughed heartily all because of a missing comma.

Second, "it's" with an apostrophe is ALWAYS "it is." Always.

Have a great weekend!

Go Dodgers!





Cherry Odelberg said...

A fine example of human interest writing.

Patti Hill said...

As an ex-pat of So. California, I so get your passion for the Dodgers. I learned that my husband was a rabid fan five days into our marriage on the first game of the season. We were setting up our bedroom while listening to the game. I was chatting away to hubby. He answered with exclamations of "Oh yeah!" and "Oh man!" I was pretty impressed with his enthusiasm over our tasks, and, of course, his great listening skills. But he wasn't responding to me. He was listening to the game! That's when I decided it would be much better for me to join him as a fan than to resent his passion.

Sharon K. Souza said...

Cherry, thank you.

Patti, hilarious!