September 13th, 2005

Make or Break

If only it were a matter of making, like baking a cake, the ingredients assembled from a list scratched on spaniel-eared note paper. But there's no need to invoke the gods of creation for something that was there to begin with. Better to aspire to the opposite, through one of those linguistic gentrification projects that turns boarded-up windows into ground-floor cafés. Let's try to make an indifference for once.


I finished my trip by staying overnight with an old friend and her partner in Northhampton, Massachusetts. It's the home of Smith College -- not to mention Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon and their daughter Coco -- where both of them teach and a beautiful place indeed. Sunday evening she and I went for a short walk from their house along this lovely stream:

On the way back, we had a great view of the Smith College boathouse, which I complicated with the sort of extremely-out-focus forgeound I've been favoring of late:

Yesterday morning, before she went to teach her first class of the semester, we drove to a nearby state park and went for a short hike halfway up a wooded hill. That's where I spotted the birch tree featured in last night's entry, as well as this rocky overhang:

The whole visit was lovely, particularly coming right after so much stress. And it made me feel connected to my childhood home, since the differences between the landscape of inland New England and inland Pennsylvania are pretty slight. The main one, ironically, is that our thirty-five acres of woods in northern Bucks County were entirely birchless. Neither the umber-barked river birches common in Maryland nor the white-barked sort that shine brightly in forests further north grow naturally in that part of Pennsylvania. And I'm surely from birch-loving stock, so the improvement on home was greatly appreciated.
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Now Here's A Fact For You

I just read this tidbit about last night's Giants' game in the write-up of today's affair:
When Bonds struck out swinging in the seventh Monday night, it marked the first time he struck out by swinging and missing on three pitches since Aug. 26, 1998, against the Mets' Hideo Nomo in a loss to New York at Candlestick Park, according to STATS Inc.
Whatever you think about the steroid controversy, there's no performance-enhancing substance that can be remotely regarded as an explanation for that brand of excellence. I mean, we're talking almost seven years here! BTW, did I mention that the Giants are only five games out?
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