1. Debbie and I talked on the phone today. I enjoyed hearing again that Gibbs and Ellie have become fast friends, that Gibbs is a calm playmate for Ellie. We had a few business items to discuss. We don't really talk about when Debbie might return to Kellogg from New York with both of us knowing there isn't really any way to know. I'd say Debbie is definitely taking things day to day, possibly week to week, maybe even month to month. I know I am, calmly. Debbie is, among other things, keeping Jack on track with school, helping out with Ellie's daily routines, and making very helpful (and I'm sure, delicious) contributions in the kitchen. She's being a mighty help.
2. I would like to see the Tampa Bay Rays advance to the World Series and I'm starting to feel a little nervous about whether they will after today, after Carlos Correa's walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth gave Houston a 4-3 win and cut the Rays' lead in the ALCS to 3-2. Over the past few seasons, the Astros have been an explosive team offensively -- granted, that explosiveness was, at times, aided by their team stealing signals, that is, by cheating. I live with a low grade sense of dread that their offense might really wake up and steamroll the Rays in these last two games. The Rays always keep games close, and that's good, but I fervently wish the Rays would really come to life on offense and have a high scoring game.
In other words, I wish they'd erupt the way the Atlanta Braves did this evening against the Dodgers on their way to crushing L.A., 10-2, taking a 3-1 lead in the NLCS, led by Marcell Ozuna's four hits, including a double, two home runs, and four runs batted in.
I guess in the world of talking about sports, the Braves' win could be called a bounce back win. On Wednesday night, the Braves got hammered by the Dodgers, giving up 11 runs in the first inning and suffering a humiliating 15-3 loss. Atlanta bounced back today. Their inexperienced rookie starter, Bryce Wilson, pitched six innings, gave up one hit, in an aggressive and courageous outing. The Braves answered L.A.'s blow out on Wednesday with fireworks of their own tonight, demonstrating that if they were deflated by being so badly the night before, they had certainly shaken it off tonight.
3. I was kind of pumped up when the baseball games ended around 9:00 and decided I had enough alertness to watch an episode of Vera and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. I went back to the show's second season and watched a fascinating tale that began with Vera rescuing a young boy who had fallen into a waterway, a boy whose mother had just been bludgeoned to death, and proceeded through all kinds of highways and byways to figuring out who killed the victim and unearthing an alarming story about the young boy and his sister.
As always, Brenda Blythen poured herself unguardedly into the role of Vera in this episode, playing Vera's urgency, impatience, bullyragging, tenderness, sarcasm, disgust, and intellectual prowess perfectly.
A limerick by Stu: