Playing Catch-up

Three tomatoes are walking down the street: papa tomato, mama tomato, and baby tomato. Baby tomato starts laggin’ behind and papa tomato gets really angry, goes back, squishes em and says, “Catch-up!”


I took a fantasy writing course during my undergraduate degree. It was taught by the accomplished fantasy writer Thomas Wharton. For the most part this class was uneventful. We mostly just sat around reading each other some pretty terrible things. Tom picked excellent examples to follow but none of us fancied ourselves an Ursula Leguin or  Jorge Louis Borges. I tried, though.

This class was interesting in that we were asked to print off each others writing and then critique it as if we were publishers. Obviously this called for some tact and compassion that I clearly didn’t posses at the time. Me and this one girl got after it pretty bad one day in class after I told her – in perhaps too insensitive of terms – that her story was a rip-off of the movie “Labyrinth,” and a bad one to boot. This altercation prompted her to go about ripping me on Facebook and posting my writing on there so people could see how bad I was. A real classy one, she was.

Anyway, this class left an impression on me for what not to do when it comes to writing. One such rule in particular was the “info dump.” Never overload sections of your writing with excessive amounts of information that your reader “has to have,” Tom would say. Spread it out. I was guilty of breaking that rule at least once in the class but I promised myself I wouldn’t do it again.

I’m going to break that rule today. I need to catch-up with some stuff both reading and sports wise. Get informed after the jump!

The Oilers start their season tomorrow. Many other excellent bloggers have noted (please check out Lowetide and Black Dog Hates Skunks from the blog roll on the right) that this year’s edition of the Oilers is unbalanced and thin on the blue line. Steve Tambellini’s asinine patient approach to fixing the problems with this team is maddening. The Oilers need more NHL defensemen. Trade for one…. No surprise then that Kevin Lowe’s name is being thrown about by Toronto media as the guy who Katz wants to move back into the GM chair. Perhaps as soon as next season. I guess Katz believes three straight last place finishes to be unacceptable. No kidding. Lowe is not the answer. But who am I to say… The Oilers injury problems have already started this year. Ladislav Smid, Ben Eager, Sam Gagner, Ray Whitney, all will be out for tomorrow. Taylor Fedun is gone for the season. Colton Teubert’s concussion has put him back about 3 weeks. The defense is shredded. It’s gonna be another long year….. Watched the Canadiens play the Leafs on Thursday night at a dark and inhospitable campus bar at UBC. That was some awful hockey. Even Don Cherry called the 1st period the worst period of hockey he has ever seen. It was slow, flat, bland, and tepid. It reminded me of when, back in the day, Cub Carson used to do sports reports for The Bear radio station back in Edmonton, and he used to say that tie games were as about as much fun as kissing your sister. Though the Leafs won 2-0, and the Toronto fans in attendance wanted to give James Reimer the Vezina, and Dion Phaneuf the Norris Trophy, the games was as arousing as kissing your sister. As long as Oilers hockey is more exciting than that I’ll be happy….. Those LA Kings look good. So do the Sabres. Andrew Cogliano scored his first goal for the Anaheim Ducks today. Good for him. I miss Cogs. Talk about killing yourself for a last place team for 4 years then getting traded. Good kid…..

Those baseball playoffs are something else…. I’m not completely satisfied with getting 3 out of 4 right on my predictions. I should’ve known that Arizona was going to be a tough out, they’re a gritty club that has some pretty good starting pitching and resilient players who refuse to quit…. Those Cardinals though, wow. I never saw that one coming. They essentially beat the Phillies by never wavering in their approach even after getting down early in almost every game. Except for last night’s, which was a classic….. Sure do wish the Blue Jays still had Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay in their rotation. We would be pennant contenders for sure. Further predictions:

ALCS – Rangers vs. Tigers

As I said previously, the Rangers are supremely under-rated, they do everything well. They destroyed a pretty good Tampa Bay Rays team with solid depth pitching, offense, and airtight defense. They are the team to beat in the playoffs now that the Phillies have been eliminated. The Tigers are good, there is no question about that; but they aren’t going to see the Rangers offense disappear like the Yankees’ one did. Except this series to go faster than usual.

Rangers in 5

NLCS – Brewers vs. Cardinals

The Championship Series is typically where the Cinderella stories end. Because in a 7 game series one needs a lot more than smoke and mirrors to get on through to the World Series. The Redbirds have put together a rather solid last 7 weeks and will no doubt give the Brewers some fits. Especially if Chris Carpenter continues to pitch like Cy Young. But the Brewers are too good at home. Their starting pitching too talented and their offense too explosive to lose a nickel-and-dime series against St. Louis. The magic runs out here, but not without a fight.

Brewers in 7

A world series between Texas and Milwaukee – two teams that have never won a world series – weird…..

I’ve started compiling another list to read through. At the bookstore I work at we have an excellent new release buyer. This guy is good. He finds these gems all over the place. Titles I’ve never heard of. I’ve started to write these titles down, something I promised myself I would never do because I didn’t want to be that nerdy guy walking around with a notebook writing shit down because he was so earnest and wanted to do everything and see everything other people had talked about. I hate that guy. But I’ve become that guy. So I started writing down these titles…… Some goodies: “The Art of Fielding” by Harbach, “Cain” by Saramago (I read “Blindness” it was decent, could’ve used a better translation), “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Riggs, and one I’ve been waiting for for months “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larsson… Larsson, a non-fiction writer I was introduced to at the Canadian Non-Fiction Writing Collective in Banff a few years back, wrote the masterpiece “The Devil in the White City.” A story about the 1897 World’s Fair in Chicago and the serial killer who stalked its grounds. Fantastic book. Larsson is a mastering at reconstructing the past. In much the same way a documentarian can re-animate old photographs, Larsson uses seductive language and impressive research to put you back in that historical moment. “The Devil in the White City” is a must read. His newest book, “In the Garden of Beasts,” is about Martha Dodd – the daughter of the American Ambassador to Germany – who had a love affair with the head of the Gestapo Rudolf Diels. Nazi Germany in 1937 is the setting. I can’t wait to read this book…. Anyway, I went to the old Vancouver Public Library to get some of these books and all of them have at least 150 holds on them. So with Christmas coming up. One can hope Santa is reading this




2 thoughts on “Playing Catch-up

  1. If you hate trying to remember things w/ pen and paper try carying around a personal voice recorder. Nothing toolish about that, right? Right??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s