Monday, December 12, 2016

Bet Your Bottom Dollar That Tomorrow....

My father left sporting events early. It didn't matter if it was the World Series or a Knights Of Columbus potato sack race. Beating traffic was the only thing that mattered. To my recollection, it only really backfired once. It was Cap Day, 1971 or 1972, New York Yankees versus the Minnesota Twins. It's been awhile, so I could be off on details, but I do recall the Twins scoring eight runs in the first inning, and with a Yankees team full of superstars like Curt Blefary and Jake Gibbs, it would probably take four games to score the nine runs they needed to win. I think we left in the third inning, much to the chagrin of my uncle and cousin, who joined us, in our car. Yankees beat the odds and won that game 9-8. I heard about that one from my cousin until Cap Day of 1974.

My father's impatience runs through my blood. I try to plan ahead instead of taking things as they come.  I look at set lists for concerts I am about to attend. If the E Street Band has played "Bobby Jean" and "Shout" as the last two songs of the night, every night for two weeks straight, I am leaving at the end of "Thunder Road." This has backfired more than once. I once got a text from my friend that said, "This is amazing!" When I replied, "What is," he knew I was already in a cab while Elvis Costello was duetting with Bruce on the Jackie Wilson classic, "Higher & Higher." I got over it right away. I just felt more disappointed in myself than in missing the performance.

That's not the half of it. I'll do this overthinking with everything. I'll check the 10 day weather forecast, and if I have outdoor plans on Day 9 and I see rain or snow, I agonize for the next 7 days. I'll answer questions I haven't yet asked people and then react to my answer and not their answer. It's no way to live.

When Prince died in April of this year, we had already lost Allen Toussaint and Lemmy at the end of 2015, and then the shock of David Bowie was followed by the shock of Glenn Frey, with Merle Haggard, Maurice White and Paul Kantner soon after. Not to mention Keith Emerson and now Greg Lake, Leon Russell, Leonard Cohen and Sharon Jones. It's not a joke to say, that's just the beginning. The list is literally too long and I know I have neglected mentioning many. We have a little more than half of December to go and with such a short time to go before we kiss the motherfucker known as 2016 goodbye, I am agonizing again. I don't feel comfortable saying the worst is over.

I haven't been a fan of Christmas since I found out Santa wasn't real 12 years ago.The end of a year has always been a time of reflection. But 2016 has eaten a lot of us up and has shat a lot of us out, only to be given one last kick in the face, like the bullet-riddled Sonny Corleone at the toll booths. I'd rather not reflect. I can't recall a worse year.

Should we take the high road and hope for a comeback like the 1978 Yankees? Or do we try to beat the traffic and just save our best for 2017?  It's not in my make to hope for the best, especially when January 20th, 2017 is right around the corner. But as impossible as it is to believe, I think I have run out of ways to bitch and moan. The little energy I have left can certainly be put to better use. "We have one life," as a friend of a friend likes to say. 


rick said...

From Alvy Singer:
There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly.

soundsource said...

great column, I'll meet ya at the exit. I'm through with this show but if Otis and Gram come down to truet with Bruce on You Don't Miss Your Water I'll catch it on UTube. Happy 2017 and thanks for all the great reads and music.

oh by the way you can add to the list of shitty things in 2016 your suspending of Burning Wood designed Friday playlists, how about once a month in 2017 to start to make it a little better than 2016, sorry I gotta be me as the song says.

Sal Nunziato said...

@soundsource--I stopped my Weekend Mixes because there seemed to be little interest in just random compilations. Once BBJ took over with his excellent work, there was a burst of activity. I am happy to compile something and send it directly to you.

David Handelman said...

Well my mom was the same way about leaving -- even though she was the biggest Mets fan she was perched by the exit with the car poised just so -- in fact she once had a screaming fit at my dad for taking too long to fumble with his seatbelt and not beat the hordes leaving Caramoor, a lovely outdoor setting, having seen Eric Idle do a staged reading of a Life of Brian musical -- even though there was no deadline to be getting anywhere --

She also, by the way, died instantly of a heart aneurysm at 70 while swimming, instead of malingering into old age and decrepitude. Which was painful for the rest of us but was probably the way to do it, if too young.

I just googled the home Twins games from those early 70s seasons and could not find a single one where the final score was 9-8. (I can't figure out how to find out when Cap Day was). So you may take comfort in the fact that as bad as life is, you may be totally remembering it wrong.

itsok2beright said...

If Sonny was smart like you and thought about beating the traffic, he would have had EZ-Pass, and would have gotten thru the toll booth much faster.

Don't leave 2016 too early, stay until the end. There's three weeks for magic to happen. I'm always hoping for it. Though, nothing will fix what has already broken, we still might get pleasantly surprised with something.

Or, taking the cynical point of view, it really can't get worse, so let's see what happens. Even the Jets pulled it out yesterday.

Sal Nunziato said...

@David Handleman

I remember Twins, 8 first inning runs for sure. I say Cap Day, because we made it a point to go to all giveaway days, but that might not have been the case. We went to many games. It could have been as early as 1968 or 1969. But I am sticking with 8-0, 9-8 comeback.

Geoff Hoover said...

Ok. The lesson is NEVER look at Bruce's previous setlists before going to a show and NEVER EVER leave a Bruce show early.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to January 20th, 2021 to get my mojo back!

Captain Al

Anonymous said...

Hello, please remain seated,

As Dan Rather used to say..."courage!"

(off topic and very late...this lifelong Stones devotee finally listened to Blue & Lonesome last night. My reaction? We're done here, right?)


OldRockr1 said...

That River show was a Sunday night. I was on the train as well when Elvis hit the stage. I go to way less shows how on school students can smell blood when I am tired. Rock & Roll All Night? Not any more.

Duardo said...

"It's not in my make to hope for the best, especially when January 20th, 2017 is right around the corner."

I thought, birthday? Bad anniversary?

Okay, I'm a little slow on the uptake.

Then I got bitch-slapped by an orange-knuckled reality.

Brother, I hope you can keep on keepin' on as I thoroughly enjoy sitting at the musical learning tree. Yeah, I miss your mixes too, but BBJ's mixes are outstanding as well. There's always solace in music,

Anonymous said...

I've gone to a few ball games and concerts with folks who have to leave early. I've done so once.

Captain Al

buzzbabyjesus said...

I recently figured out why I'm an optimist. Because life sucks, but I beleive it will get better.

Weekend Mix looks likely on Friday.

lemonflag said...

On Jan 20th Putin will invade the rest of Ukraine. Trump will do nothing but talk and get an agreement that Russia will not invade anywhere else. Trump will wave the agreement just like Neville Chamberlain, Putin will start saying Estonia and neighbors have always been a part of mother Russia and need to rejoin the Union of Soviet Republics and Trump will do nothing, because there is "no profit for America". "Back In the USSR" will go to #1.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Neville Chamberlain has similarly crossed my mind lately.
Hello WWIII!
The new brand should probably be dumbed down to "WW3".
Not all 'Mericans know how to read Roman numerals.
Besides it's so much more millenial.
Here come jobs building tanks and shit.