Whiskey and Music

By JCB on Tuesday, November 29, 2005

To think – I almost didn’t go.

Well, it’s 10:13pm as I begin this, and I will not write past 11:00, I’ve decided. Plus, I’m expecting a return phone call, and I’m not sure how long it will take; maybe a while, maybe no time at all. What my point is: however far I get, that’s how far I’ll get. I’ve been drinking Jameson and soda – soda because I didn’t want to drink too much, or too fast; Jameson because I’m recovering from a cold, and whiskey is better than beer to avoid a relapse, I find. All of this is only context.

It’s another post in the spirit of a rainout meandering – i.e. an excuse for me to meander along without having to talk about baseball. Really, I’m trying. I even sent an e-mail to KJM mentioning how I didn’t have anything to write about. He returned with the idea of railing on Jim Hendry. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but the gist of it was that Hendry hasn’t really done all that much that’s been worthwhile in his tenure if you look at it without (my) bias.

Two things. 1) I am inclined to disagree, for reasons both sympathetic and rational. 2) I am more inclined to think about ANYTHING else right now.

It’s not that he didn’t bring up good points, because he did. The fact of the matter is that the players Hendry put out there last year went 79-83, which was rather woeful, and so he’s a point man for responsibility. Which is to say, there seems to be grounds for blaming him if you consider the matter of blame. Not only him, but including him. This line of argument is not hard to follow, and makes plenty of sense.

It’s just that I can’t do it. I can’t bring myself to analyze these arguments. I tried. I don’t have it in me right now.

I went out tonight to see a woman named Ginger Leigh perform at a club called Momo’s, and I have to say, I was blown away. I took it as a good sign that the pre-performance music included Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony (‘Ghetto Cowboy’) because this song took me back to a lot of memories, believe it or not. Plus, the woman behind the bar was tall, in very good shape, and told me I had a youthful glow as her excuse for carding me. I told her, “I don’t know what to make of that. I’m 25.” She said, “Hey -- I hope I have a youthful glow, too.” I looked at her, caught her eye, and answered, “You do.” Of course. What else might I say? She also turned out to be (I think, that is, according to Ginger) one of the owners of the club, which is awesome because she’s young and wore ratty jeans and her lower lip is pierced and frankly this combination of success that presents itself otherwise works very well in my book. So I was in a good mood to start the set, just thinking about how I might run into someone like this on a Tuesday night.

And then Ginger Leigh did her thing, and damn if she isn’t good. Seriously: it boggles my mind the caliber of musicians I continue to hear with small crowds in small clubs here in Austin. I don’t want to gush, but also I don’t think I’m gushing undeservedly. This woman has a great voice and great stage presence and writes heartfelt and well-arranged songs, and in a way reminds me of Sheryl Crow or something, from the Globe Sessions, and I just felt so lucky to be here, this time and place, watching her do her thing because I know that this type of a scene is not going on everywhere even if it seems to go on a lot more in Austin than anywhere I’ve ever been. And then I think about even all the people in Austin who aren’t here – there’s only 30 of us in the room – who probably drove back to their houses and apartments farther from downtown because that’s how things seem to be going I gather, people moving farther away from the city, and I ask myself, Don’t they know what they’re missing? And then I think, Mmm... how about another glass of Jameson... and the bartender catches my eye...

Then, as Ginger finished her set, the post-set music went to none other than O.A.R., “Crazy Game of Poker.” You might remember that I made a joke about Jim Hendry & Andy MacPhail and that song a few weeks ago, explaining the Neifi signing. I thought it was funny, anyway. I took that as a sign that I should go ahead and post my meanderings, whatever condition they may find themselves.

In other words, I’m in a good mood, and I’m not gonna let all this baseball stuff bring me down. I hate even more that thinking about it is a downer because I'd much rather be giddy with anticipation, but let's not kid ourselves. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. Like I said the other day: I can think about it again in a few more weeks. The itch will return. For the time being, however, I can’t bring myself to think about stuff like that because it’s just so dry and depressing and such a downer that I’d rather go out and listen to great music and make eye contact with tall, sexy, female bartenders and pretend I’m an International Man Of Mystery than someone who wants to debate the intricacies of Todd Hollandsworth’s recent season, pre-trade. Why compound an awful season by fretting over the next?

Life is short and I spend an awful lot of it watching, thinking and writing about the Cubs. I don’t regret a single moment of it, either. I feel lucky to be able to spend so much time on such a great narrative as the Cubs narrative is – and will be even more so when they win the World Series this year. So why dwell on the negatives? Why worry about the likelihood of problems? I’d rather take a sip of whiskey and think to myself, this December, “We’ll Get ‘Em Next Year.” I will say this out of both reflex and blind faith, both of which seem better to me than scrutiny. If other people want to scrutinize, more power to them, and I hope it helps. The Enlightenment promised truth from rationality and reasoning, and maybe I should feel bad for temporarily abandoning that in favor of whiskey and music.

Or not.

Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2005 by JCB



JCB, Sounds like you're reaching the "Cub blog" hard times. This time of year you'll see that in most blogs.

Looks like the Cubs tried to solve the pen problem with Howry and Erye. Shored up the bench with the Mabry signing and looks to sign the big fish Furcal. Add a couple of outfielders for flavor and you have a pretty good team assembled for war during the season. Hendry, unlike last offseason, is working is arse off and addressing the Cubs needs. What else does this man need to do? I'm getting that good Cub feeling once again. Hope it spreads.

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