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Why We Might Bother

By JCB on Sunday, April 1, 2007
"Are you guys on the swim team or something?" she asked. That was a new one. Certain friends and I often get asked if we play basketball when we're out together, being tall and lean, and sometimes people ask if we're military, at least now that my hair is short again, and one time a girl I was dancing with told me I had a body like a sailor in a way that made me ask if that was a compliment -- she just shrugged -- but this woman asking if we were swimmers was a new one.

"Nope, just tall," I said. "That's why we usually stand at the back, so we aren't blocking the view. What's your excuse for standing back here?"
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A Rant Against The Bud Light Bleachers

By JCB on Thursday, March 30, 2006

Say What?!?

Well, there is going to be a lot of indignation over the Wrigley Field bleachers being knighted the Bud Light Bleachers. That's right, friends, Anheuser-Busch has sent its marketing gallantry out from St. Louis abroad to conquer and pillage, and the Wrigley Field bleachers are officially plunder. The press release has been issued. Expect lots of indignation, that's for sure, and I'm writing now to say one thing: it's righteous indignation.

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The Longest Season That Went Nowhere and Everywhere

By JCB on Monday, October 10, 2005
Baseball seasons take a long time, but the beginning of 2005 seems especially long ago to me. So much has happened and Iíve changed my life so drastically that the beginning of April feels distant, more like years ago than months. 2005 was a summer Iíll always remember, a summer where I cut strings and found myself more free than a person has a right to expect. This is an exhilarating thing to do, among other adjectives, and as you look back after a few months and a few thousand miles, you recognize a distance thatís much greater even than that, when you consider what sort of life youíd be living had you not gone through with it.
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Burdens and Onward

By JCB on Thursday, November 4, 2004

I went for a drive a few weeks ago, on Saturday the second of October,
meaning to clear my head. Pulling out from my garage, I turned off the
radio and rolled down the window. My window is not automatically
powered, so there's something more significant about rolling it down:
you have to really mean it. Nearing seven o'clock, the last of daylight
was fading in the west, though I couldn't really tell since I was
driving southeast on Milwaukee Ave., over to the Kennedy and down to
Congress in order to make my way over to Lake Shore Drive. Lake Shore
was the point, right from the beginning.

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Between Chapters

By JCB on Thursday, October 30, 2003
"To walk in to Wrigley is to walk in to a simpler way of life. It's beautiful, peaceful, and a perfect venue for miracles. That the miracle of a World Series hasnít happened in half a century is easily forgotten in that place where patience pervades oneís state of mind. Cubs baseball is just that: patient. We can trace ebbs and tides across decades as easily as seasons. There's a sense that it will be only that much sweeter when we finally win. Even more, there's a sense that all of that doesn't matter in those perfect Wrigley moments when baseball captures beauty, truth, and the meaning of life -- even if it can't be put into words. Understanding this is what it means to be a Cubs fan. This is what I learned this season: baseball allows us to understand what it means for a moment to be pure and good -- even if that moment is gone as soon as it comes. And it will be that much sweeter when we win next year."

* * *

So this was the year: the one that you hear people talk about how they'll never forget. This was mine.

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A Day of Dedication

By JCB on Tuesday, October 9, 2001

It was a day of dedication. It was a day of irony, and symbolism. It was the day that a Cubs icon died. It was a day that Sammy Sosa said thank you with his bat, not just his words. It was the day that seemed aligned with the cosmos. It was a day where I learned what it means to be a Cubs fan.

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Sincerely, JCB

I founded Agony & Ivy about five years ago for two reasons. First...


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