And there you have it.

You know, sometimes it is, in fact, easier to tell a story with a photograph rather than words.

This past weekend, I wandered into my bedroom to grab my iPod off the bedside table. It was then I saw, laying there, the perfect explanation of my relationship with The Good Man.

It just says so much about who we are, how we’re alike, and how we’re different.

It is thus:

I’ll give you two guesses as to which book is the one I’m reading.

Hint: it’s not the one about Oscar Wilde.

And there you have it.

Heartbroke no more

There’s this famous quote from this guy named Bart Giamatti. He was a baseball commissioner and had a bit of character.

Ol’ Bart was also a writer. He liked to put down in words what he felt about the game of baseball.

He was a true fan and had a lot to say.

At the end of every baseball season, one of his quotes from a work entitled “The Green Fields of the Mind” is trotted out and poured over by the faithful, including me.

The piece begins “It breaks your heart. It’s designed to break your heart.”

Bart’s talking about how baseball begins all fresh and new and sparkly, stays with you over the course of 162 games, and gives you a story arc that includes Spring, Summer, AND Fall and then goes away abruptly.

Finds you when it is warm, leaves you when it is wet and cold.

Sort of a fair weather friend, that.

And every October, I get a little down. The World Series ends, baseball isn’t on the radio anymore and I have to actually decide what to watch on TV instead of having it decided for me.

No longer do I worry over a pitcher’s arm or that catcher’s bum knee or why the hell that guy took that bad route to get to a routine fly ball.

Baseball leaves a big empty that cannot be refilled.

Like a whirlwind romance that fills my days with daydreams and my nights with passion and I get to thinking I could never live without it.

And then it leaves me.

But weirdly, baseball is a fickle lover.

Because come March, baseball finds it’s way back to my arms.

Yesterday, because I could feel the return on the wind, I engaged in my annual viewing of “Bull Durham.” It’s a preparatory event. An ablution. A ritual cleansing to prepare me for the return.

This morning I will have either “61*” or “The Natural” playing in the background while I work, to continue my readiness.

And then, today, at noon, or 12:05 actually, I will once again hear Duane Kuiper say “Giants baseball is on the radio.”

While it may only be a Spring Training game, some harmless flirtation and not the real thing yet, I will listen. I might even cry when I hear Jon Miller‘s voice (it’s happened before).

I will hear how Bengie Molina may or may not have lost weight. I will hear how our multi-million dollar Cy Young winning, dope smoking kid has fared in the off season. I will listen for details on the new kids and assessments on the old kids and I will find that yawning chasm inside of me will begin to quiet again.

Because today, my love has returned to me.

It broke my heart, but I will forgive and forget. I will give myself with reckless abandon, not caring that October looms somewhere out there. No, today I will pretend that it will never leave me again.

God I love baseball.

Stages of Grief

Found in my internet wanderings, a selection of letters from grade school aged kids expressing their anxiety, grief, and eventual acceptance of the fact that Pluto is no longer classified as a planet. They have been compiled together as part of a new book, The Pluto Files.

The kids are rather adamant and articulate about the whole Pluto situation.

And they go through the seven stages of grief:

Shock and Denial – Will says, “You are missing planet Pluto. Please make a model of it.” Then follows up with an illustration in case the scientists don’t remember what it looks like.

Bargaining – John took a poll of eleven people, all of whom thought Pluto is a planet. “I had a half day off from school yesterday so my mom brought me to the Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium. I wanted to see you so I could tell you this in person.”

Guilt – Madeline works the guilt aspect well….”What do you call Pluto if its not a planet anymore? If you make it a planet again all the science books will be right…Some people like Pluto.”

Anger – Emerson says, “I do not like your answer!!! Pluto is my favorite planet!!! You are going to have to take all of the books away and change them.”

Depression – Taylor is starting to feel the loss. “We’re sorry about giving you mean letters saying we love Pluto but not you.”

Acceptance – Finally, Siddiq brings it all together. “I know how you feel…we just have to get over it – that’s science.”

See images of the letters here.

By the by, our Fair New Mexico has already passed legislation recognizing Pluto’s full planet status. Where I come from, we do “do” lesser galactic structures. Planet or nuthin’ baybee! Mr. Clyde Tombaugh, a kind gentle man (yes, I once met him) would be pleased.

A matter of personal choice?

So I dropped by a favorite “blog post idea” site today and the first item that was presented for my consideration was:

“Suggest to your visitors some toilet literature”

Oh my.

I mean…I believe toidy literature is indeed essential, but isn’t that a highly personalized decision?

There is the good ol’ fashioned newspaper, but what with the drop in newspaper circulation, not as many people take a physical paper anymore.

So this material has limitations.

I have a friend who keeps a basket of catalogs by the toilet. It’s multitasking! Shopping and…er…you know.

Plus, I suppose they could come in handy in the case of a toilet tissue shortage.

Personally, I favor taking my iPhone along for the journey. That way I can do email, read the news, shop, whatever whim might strike my fancy when I’ve got a few spare minutes to spend.

The downside of this is that between the sink, tub and other water issuing devices in the restroom, it can be tricky. Best to keep the ol’ iPhone nice and dry.

Plus, The Good Man tends to get bent out of shape when he receives messages from me while indisposed.

“Did you just email me from the can?!?!” he’ll shout when his email goes ‘bing’ with a new message.

Well. Yes. Is that a problem?

I’ll admit, there have been times when I’m on a writing jag (and you have GOT to respect the streak) when I have taken my laptop in there with me so I could keep writing while doing my business.

I won’t even relay the comments I get from The Good Man when I do that.

Suffice to say, he’s horrified.

Ok, so back to the topic. I actually spent some time considering options. Novels, magazines, catalogs, short story anthologies, comic books, reading the back of the toothpaste tube and of course nothing at all.

After all this thinking, I believe I’ve arrived at the best answer.

Something that has quick readability, short segments, maybe even a laugh or two.

Ah yes, I’ve made my decision.

Bar none, the best toilet literature ever has to be:

Reader’s Digest

You’re welcome.