Monday, July 27, 2009

Here Come the Dog Days

Sometime yesterday, shirtless and lazy on my couch, listening to the sputtering cough of a useless air conditioner, I realized that summer, in all its glowering swelter, had finally come knocking. The decisive change in the air swiftly erased the memories of June's rain and July's surprising moderation. We can be grateful that the misery came late, but gratitude will be hard to summon in the next six weeks. Instead, as sweat droplets trace their way down fevered foreheads, we can look forward to endless procrastination and anxiety concerning such impossible feats as the one block trek to the laundromat.

That the hellish epoch runs concurrently with a depressing nadir in sporting activity (no tennis until late August, all the fun golf tournaments over, football still a month away, basketball a distant memory, and only baseball's dullest month to carry us through...) seems something less than coincidental. This is a time of punishment, especially for someone like me, of Northern European descent, who evolution has damned to wilt under conditions of extreme heat. I won't be in a good mood again until sometime in mid-September, when my short, thick hair stops feeling like one of those scorching perm helmets old women go under at the salon, the office dress code requiring pants feels less like a capitalist torture mandate, and a beautiful woman in a skirt becomes something to desire, rather than envy. It should come as no surprise that our society mimics the weather, offering no respite, no buoy in the stifling sea.

Other than all that, though, I'm happy. The Yankees closed out their home stand with a 9-1 record, gaining 5.5 games on the Red Sox since the All-Star break, and rising to the top of the American League. I don't have a ton of perspective to offer on this surge, other than to repeat some mantras from the past few weeks. First, I think we're here to stay. This team plays excellent baseball against the dregs of the league, as they should. And we'll obviously fare better against Boston and LA in the second half (it can't be much worse). I also stand by my prediction that the Sox are about to find themselves in the midst of a two-month dogfight* to win the Wild Card, and will eventually lose.

*I'm trying to set a record in this post for "dog" words and phrases that have nothing to do with actual dogs.

I'll have more to offer tomorrow. Yesterday afternoon, in a desperate attempt to cool down and curb the depression of Sunday evening, I had two beers while writing. It didn't help, and now I have an improbable, almost obscene miniature hangover. Aspirin didn't do the trick, and work wouldn't be too pleased if I resorted to the hair of the dog. So I'm going to sign off now and suffer in silence. The following song, called "I Don't Like Mondays," was written by an Irish band called Boomtown Rats about a San Diego teenage girl who shot up a schoolyard in the late 70s. When they asked her why she did it, she said "I don't like Mondays." They wouldn't play this song on US radio for a long time, even though it became a #1 single in the UK, and it still isn't played in the San Diego area. The actual video doesn't allow embedding, but you can watch it here.

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