Saturday, September 27, 2014

Softball recap: You may now call it a comeback
We’re two games in to my grand return to the softball field and in that time the United States hasn’t been invaded by a foreign power, owning cats has not been made illegal and cheese sandwiches haven’t been made the mandatory lunch of the free world.  
                So all in all, I’d say my return to softball has gone much better than I expected it to.
                My first game was about two weeks ago now and it ended in a victory for my team. The victory was by forfeit since our opponent for the evening didn’t bother to show up, but when you’ve got a guy like me on your roster, you’ve got to learn to take wins any way you can get them. By hook, by crook, or by mass indifference.
                Lucky enough for my team, several members of the two teams that played before us that night didn’t mind sticking around to play a scrimmage. That way at least we could get a game in to go with our moral and statistical victory and our drives to the field wouldn’t be for not.
                Somehow, against every conventionally held bit of baseball wisdom, I was placed in the leadoff spot. Typically this spot goes to the person who is most likely to get on base, which is the exact opposite of my track record at the plate.
                My first at bat came and I was terrified. No matter that the game mattered even less than your average adult league game since it was technically an adult league scrimmage. I was in seventh grade all over again, desperately wishing to have been anywhere else. I stepped up to the plate, positioned my feet in the correct fashion, repositioned them when I realized that hadn’t been the correct fashion, considered bending my knees but decided it against it … OH MY GOD! The pitch was coming in! Sweet Jesus! This was going to be a disaster. I closed my eyes, swung the bat and …
                Made contact? That’s not right.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Man vs. Stump: Age-old enemies do battle once more

My friends, gather round and I’ll tell you s tale, a tale of a man who gets himself in too deep, but who also finds redemption with the help of a chainsaw. If you’re thinking “That sounds like the way Alexander Aja would pitch his next movie,” you’re absolutely correct. Alex Aja’s “Chainsaw Capers” will be released next month from Cheese List Productions, Inc.
                But it’s also the story of what the hell I’ve been doing with myself for the last three weeks. I mean, there was a wedding, a trip to upstate New York, a zombie party, and some other life events thrown in there, but for all intents and purposes, it was mostly the thing about redemption.
                It started like all redemption stories do, with a tree.
                This one didn’t give wishes or tickets to concert events or sporting events. It didn’t really do anything except be mostly dead and drop weird fruit in the backyard. So one day, with the help of my girlfriend’s father, we cut it down with a chainsaw.
                It was a yet another glorious example of man asserting his dominance over nature with the help of tools powered by the stuff nature leaves behind. The tree came down, was sliced into pieces and was gradually passed on to the local trash company over the period of several weeks. And so ends the story.
                Wait no, there’s more. There’s a stump. Like many trees, this one required a way to be affixed to the ground and to draw in nutrients. In our haste to remove the tree, somehow the stump got left behind.
                After a good solid year of having to mow the lawn around the unsightly tree anchor, I said to myself “Someone should do something about that.”  Unfortunately, that someone turned out to have to be me.
                About three weeks ago, I wandered outside ready to do battle with the stump. At my disposal, I had the following: