If I told you the truth – that I own three cars – would think badly of me? Saying that I have three cars probably sounds like I'm bragging, but the fact is that I'm self-conscious about it. It suggests that I don't appreciate the corner we humans have painted ourselves into and am willing to pump as much carbon into the atmosphere as I can muster. Like I'm one of those guys who drives a giant pickup truck and takes pleasure in "rolling coal" at cyclists or running over them. (Or both). I'm embarrassed that you might think of me that way.
You know why they call it "embarrassed"? Because you feel as though your ass is bare. Little linguistical nugget for your brain to ponder.
But back to me not bragging about my three cars: we have three not because I drive all the time but because I'm bad at finding the sweet spot between the price I was offered on a trade-in (not much) and what I want in my wildest dreams (many, many thousands of dollars more). Also, the car I was trading in is 15 years old and coughs up a bolt or springs a leak often and needs surgery. I own another that is eight years old and it doesn't matter how many ball joints and control arms you replace, it seems to need another almost immediately. Consequently, one of these two cars is on the bench so that when the other is on the disabled list my family isn't stuck with just one car.
"Just one car." Yes, I know, first world problem.
Meanwhile, we had been using the same drivers for our vehicles since we got married in 2003. We finally updated our drivers to include our son when he was around 16. My impression is that we can get away with just these three drivers until 2024, when we plan to update them again by adding my daughter (currently 15). It's just sensible. By then, we may have just one functioning automobile. That's when I buy everyone a bike.
I wish I had the job of a baseball color commentator. Some of them know a thing or two about the game, having played it at the big-league level, sometimes well, but often not terribly well at all, though well enough to have made it to the biggest stage in the world before embarrassing themselves with two out in the bottom of the ninth and the whole world watching. Most don't know so much more than you or I about baseball. They just know some of the game's famous players, having showered alongside them when they were having their so-called "cup of coffee" in the majors.
And yet, here they come into our living rooms with important-sounding titles such as "analyst," which suggests that they have received advance training to interpret your dreams or pick apart your psyche. Maybe they just know how to read data tables. In truth, they are there because fans would rather listen to former ballplayers talk about the game nostalgically and with a modicum of objectivity, rather than listen to you whine about a call that, in truth, was probably correct.
This may be how Lou Merloni, who played a bit part for his hometown Red Sox from 1998 to 2002, is allowed to "commentate" (a word that needn't ever have been created, given the existence of "comment") on Red Sox radio broadcasts now and again. This season, early on, Lou managed to concoct a phrase that I had never heard a baseball analyst utter. Speaking of the young Red Sox, Lou noted that Alex Cora's squad had "a ton of inexperience."
This turn of phrase – indicating that the absence of something – experience – was really the presence of something else – inexperience, was clever, even if Lou didn't mean it to be. It's like saying that you have an infinite amount of nothing.
Reminds me of a former roommate I had when I lived on Murdock Street in Brighton, who once replied affirmatively, sort of, to some question I had tossed his way by saying, "For sure, probably."
Thanks for being clear.
On and off in these pages, I've been known to allege that my children are Canadians. I don't mean they act like Canadians by being overly friendly, drinking maple syrup, and wearing toques, but they nevertheless had what seemed to be an airtight legal entitlement to live and work in the 51st state, given that their grandma was Quebecois.
Despite the fact that my kids were born (or "borned" as we little kids often said back in the 1960s) prior to the laws changing in 2009 and were bona fide citizens when they emerged into our cold world, they are not grandfathered under previous law. Changes in 2009 that eliminated citizenship being conveyed by a grandparent unless you had already applied for "proof of citizenship" (i.e., not citizenship per se, just proof that you are a citizen, which at the time they were) means that our friendly northern neighbors will bar these two from entering their smoldering country if/when the next US Civil War gets approved.
On the plus side, they won't be expected to doggedly defend any ice that still exists up there in the Canada parts of the arctic region, if ice continues to exist, which is not a given.
As if to put an exclamation point on the denial of their citizenship, Canada is blowing smoke at us Americans, preventing us from playing bad tennis outside thanks to terrible air quality. It's like they're trying to push us away from their border, or mimic the Vatican by sending messages via smoke signal. Sacre Bleu!
This issue is something short of tragic, I suppose. We are not Ukrainian refugees, or Sudanese trying to escape civil war. But with the US south sweltering, our government and society divided, and all those guns floating around, having an escape hatch would be great. (As would the tuition relief they would see if they managed to get into McGill.)
I'd like to say that we're going to protest the government's decision by boycotting Canada altogether, but the fact is that just last week we went to The Shaw Festival in the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, with our tails between our legs, and yes, we had a really nice time. I guess there are reasons to be north of the border beyond escaping our heat, guns, and the US Supreme Court.
Did you hear that Geoffrey Hinton, aka the "Godfather of AI," decided to quit his job at Google? Apparently, he wanted to speak freely about the dangers of artificial intelligence without his bosses, who employed him to develop AI, suppressing his speech. Not that bosses have ever tried to suppress employees' speech. Or read my blog to see if I'm saying something negative about them. Heh heh
Although Hinton has been anointed a godfather, don't confuse him with the recently deceased Godfather of Poker, Doyle Brunson. Or Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Or the Godfather of Blogging, me.
Yeah, OK, maybe I'm not yet known as the Godfather of Blogging, but get this: I am an actual godfather, having been anointed as such when I agreed (apparently) to raise my nephew Erich as a Catholic if his parents met an untimely death before he was confirmed. This was back when my sister and brother-in-law could reasonably be called Catholic, and I had already become a borderline atheist. Now, Erich's parents have left Catholicism for the Abundant Life Church, while I'm pretty sure that Jesus Christ never existed, let alone was "The Son of God." So, I'm wondering if I need to renounce my godfather status.
Sorry, I've gotten off topic.
Whoever first decided to use the term "Godfather" to refer to individuals who have made a substantial mark in certain areas of industry and the arts aimed pretty low. Godfather is not a legally recognized title. It's not like Bill Monroe, who was called the "Father of Bluegrass." He's an actual father, which means he ranks higher than all those godfathers out there. Even a great uncle outranks a godfather.
If you wanted to aim high, you could name yourself a king, like Elvis Presley, King of Pop, or BB King, King of the Blues.
Dinah Washington dubbed herself Queen of the Blues and might have thought this moniker made her the world's chief blueswoman, but Bessie Smith was known as "Empress of the Blues," outranking Queen Washington.
Joan Jett was the Godmother punk, but other than that, there aren't a lot of Godmothers out there in the music world. I've heard that Morrissey was called "The Pope of Mope," which in a sense makes him among the highest-ranking musicians in the w orld. Kings rule nations, emperors rule empires, but popes transcend such boundaries.
Ultimately, I'm not yet wellenough known to be called a king, or pope. I'm currently shooting for Second Cousin of Blogging, Once Removed. Wish me luck as I petition the US Trademark Office on that.