Uthl-muc-ko (Yellow-Cedar-Man), by Art Thompson (Tsa-qwa-supp), Nuu-chah-nulth (Ditidaht), 1977

Uthl-muc-ko (Yellow-Cedar-Man), by Art Thompson (Tsa-qwa-supp), Nuu-chah-nulth (Ditidaht), 1977

Native lore has this non-human spirit, a wild man of the woods, Yellow-Cedar-Man, living off of ghost food and trying to persuade humans to eat it also, so that they would stay with him in his unreal forest world. This silkscreen by Art Thompson hangs in the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), which I visited last month, with Jay and Carl. The following is the SAM description of his artwork:

Human-like supernatural beings inhabit the world of the Ditidaht and can be ancestors or spirit beings. Yellow-Cedar-Man is one of the ghostly spirits who inhabit the Northwest forest, often depicted with a skull-like head and hooked nose. In this example, the being is seen in the act of transforming from a yellow cedar tree into its human-like form. 

I had the antithesis of ghost food for lunch today. The cafeteria offered up a $5 ballpark special, two large franks, homemade chips and bottled water. This special was in celebration of the Cardinals making the playoffs again this year. We’re getting as bad as those damn Yankees. Even Yellow-Cedar-Man seems to be wearing Cardinal red. How is that for a pivot folks? Even I didn’t see that curve ball coming and I’m writing this blog.

So far, the Cards have only qualified for the wildcard berth, the berth that they qualified for last year. Last year’s one game wildcard playoff against the Nationals led to a Redbird win in part on the back of a poorly called infield fly rule. The call was correct, but the timing was a wee bit off, thank you very much. The Redbirds took the division last year too, only to fall to the Giants, after racking up a 3-1 game lead, in the pennant winning series. And then there was the year before, 2011, but I dare not go there less I lose myself once again in some unreal forest world or the Redbird’s happy hunting ground.

As of writing the Cards find themselves at the top of the National League’s Central Division, with a two game lead. With five games to go, both the Pirates and the Reds are tied for second. Yesterday, both the Pirates and the Reds also qualified for the wildcard. Once considered the cellar division of MLB, in these waning days of regular play the NL Central is looking like the epicenter of baseball this year. I calculate at moments to go before game time that our spirit number is five. We’ll play the Nationals again and since they were eliminated last night, maybe win one more. The final series of the season look interesting. We’ll play the hopefully hapless baby bears from Shy-town, while Pittsburgh and Cincinnati duke it out. I’m hoping for a split decision there. 😉

Why walk at the end of the world?

Zombie at the Ballpark

Zombie at the Ballpark

This zombie was stumbling around the stadium at yesterday’s ball game. He was part of a promotion for the local Six Flags amusement park. He was promoting that park’s upcoming Fright Night season. I’m sure the fact that he was wearing Mariner blue had nothing to do with his torpor or demeanor. 😉

He is certainly an ugly-looking cuss, but he also makes a pretty good segue for this post’s theme. Imagine this, a nuclear war has been fought, or a comet has struck the earth or God forbid, a worldwide pandemic of zombies are everywhere and they have the munchies bad. You are a survivor, while 99% of humanity has already perished, you are still alive. Choose your dystopian future, well actually you never get to choose. You’re the protagonist now in some hack sci-fi / horror movie writer’s imagination. Doomed to run from one dangerous and likely disgusting encounter to the next, you are either already walking or if not, desperately searching for that next gallon of gasoline. Have you considered riding a bicycle instead? This is the questioned asked by Paul Ford in his poke at the movie industry’s myopia that is pervasive among this genre, The Official Transportation of the Apocalypse.

Ford is specifically speaking of a NYC Citi Bike, the ride share program that has taken over the city. Built so tough that it broke its own strength testing equipment it proves its mettle everyday on the streets of the city that never sleeps. Can you say Escape for New York? Ford’s article relies heavily upon the TV troupe page, No Bikes in the Apocalypse. Still Ford’s article was a treat to read, especially on that dourest of mornings, Monday’s. We encountered a similar program to the NYC one in Montreal. There they are called Bixi and they are pigs to ride, but also tough enough to survive the coming Armageddon.

Anne on a Bixi

Anne on a Bixi

Mariners w/Redbirds about their necks

Carter Capps and Chance Ruffin and Tinkerbell Bag

Carter Capps and Chance Ruffin and Tinkerbell Bag

The Cardinals won twelve to two
I’m cooked
Now this blog is through …

The preceding little ditty was Anne’s suggestion for tonight’s blog post, but I think that I can do better. I know that I can at least babble on longer. We walked up to Stratton’s near the Ritz Carlton in Clayton and had breakfast. There seemed to be a statistically improbable preponderance of little girls there. After breakfast we walked to the Forsyth Metrolink station and took the train down to the ballpark. The park had just opened, but instead of batting practice, hundreds of fans were circling the warning path. Today was run the bases day, but that was not scheduled until after the game. This was some sort of cancer fundraiser. We had primo seats, just four rows back from the left field line, three sections outfield from the Mariner’s dugout.

There were a few Mariner players warming-up on the grass, one of them was Carter Capps, a handsome young man, who was very kind to all of the fans. Too bad he couldn’t complete even a third of an inning. A little later Morales and another Mariner were playing catch. The other Mariner threw high and the ball would have landed among a pack of little boys standing by the foul wall if Morales hadn’t thrown up his mitt to knock the ball down. He then proceeded to scold his teammate. I’ve chosen Chance Ruffin’s choice of luggage as the eye wash for this post. He, Capps and the rest of the bullpen were marching out to their station, beyond the left field wall. One-by-one, they would make their way back to the mound. It is certainly not standard MLB fare. I would love to know the back-story on it. Is it his daughter’s bag? Is it a road trip charm? Is it some sort of initiation? Is it a Seattle thing? Youth wants to know!

Molina homered in the second. He had a great day! He was pulled in the eighth and his new backup made his Major League debut. Anne reminded me that we had seen Molina’s debut too. The first time he came up to bat, his batting average was 0.000. The second time it was 1.000. The third time it was 0.500. The rest is history. His replacement never got a chance to bat.

The Mariners tied it in the fourth. Then the dam began to break loose. The Cards scored four in the fourth, four in the fifth and three in the seventh, to one answering run. We here in Saint Louis expected the Mariners to be pushovers. After all, they are near cellar dwellers. But they weren’t. We just barely beat them on Friday, on Saturday we lost and now we’re tied with the Pirates again. Where are some ninjas when you really need them? Those pesky Pirates! I would like to give a shout out to Mariner pitcher, Bobby ‘the raspberry’ LaFromboise. Your name rocks! I wish that your baseball career goes well, so that fans both for and against will be able to give you the raspberry for many years to come. I’d also like to give a shout out to pitcher John Axford of the Cardinals. That name sounds almost strangely familiar, right Dad? This post is kind of sloppy and a little bit all over the map, but so was today’s pitching, what with the Mariners hitting three batsmen.

Penguin Parade

We were out and about on Sunday. Our first stop was the botanical gardens. There the flags were at half mast, because Stan Musial died yesterday. Stan the Man was a great ball player and a great person too. Saint Louis loved him and we will miss him. I didn’t stay up for it, but Anne told me that the local TV newscast went nuts. After 45 minutes of Musial memorial, they tried to get on with the rest of the news. The sports announcer told us that the Blues hockey team won their opener 6-0 and did you know that six was Stan Musial’s number? Not to be outdone, the weather person announced that the high for the day was 66 °F and did you know that both those digits are the same as Musial’s jersey number? I guess that we should be thankful that there weren’t any hat tricks involving six. There was a pair of cardinals (male and female) in the garden’s Mediterranean House. I think that the male’s photo makes for a nice tie-in.

Anne’s camera battery died and my camera froze up in the cold, so it was time to leave the gardens. Brunch sounded good, so it was off to Local Harvest on Morganford. There are now two other Local Harvest restaurants in town, at the Old Post Office and Kirkwood, but I doubt that those other two locales have the same quota of hipsters as we saw. Anne and I were easily two standard deviations away from the median age of the clientele. Anne had the French toast and I had biscuits and gravy. The two dropped biscuits were to die for, plus they were humongous and could have easily made a meal for two. I could not finish them.

The next stop on our itinerary was the zoo. The zoo is now sponsoring winter events. Today’s signature event was the Penguin Parade. We got our parade spots, an hour before it began. This meant we had to wait in the cold, but Anne took full advantage of this time by mugging with other people’s babies. The zookeepers cooked up this event to boost attendance, but also to stimulate the penguins. This falls under the rubric that anything new and different is good for the animals. The zookeepers seemed rather nonplussed by the gathered crowd, but then had to impromptu double the length of the parade route, but the penguins just took it in stride. They genuinely seemed to enjoy the outing and weren’t particularly interested in rushing through it. The big ones are King penguins and the little ones are Gentoo. The kids of course loved it and me too.

As you can see the crowd was allowed get quite close to the penguins. We were admonished not to reach out and try to touch them, because they might bite. Like one of these perp-walking penguins last year, bit presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on the finger. Afterwards, we toured the new as of last year, sea-lion exhibit. I heard that the sea lions offered to host a future event, a penguin pool party. 😉

You look like you are wearing a tuxedo.
How do you know that I am not?