Friday, March 30, 2012

The Art of Fielding

Thanks to the Doctor for hosting a lovely BC!  We started off with two kinds of bruschetta topped with delishy tapenades, followed by pulled pork tinga street tacos with all the garnishess and a slightly Mexi salad, and a peppermint patty chocolate cake in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  Lish!

Normally El Jefe likes to linger a little longer over any discussion of tacos, however, there are special circumstances surrounding this month's book that require immediate attention.  The Art of Fielding, the fiction debut of author Chad Harbach, was one of the all-time highest scoring books in BC history with two 8's, two 9s, a 10, and two scores in between!  Said another way:  the lowest score this book got was an 8!  Almost unheard of since A Confederacy of Dunces back in 2003.  This newcomer of an author writes like an old pro.  Every character was lovingly conceived, each one's neediness and desperation revealed in a unique and poignant way.  And all so likable!  Schwartzy, jockish and determined on the outside, vulnerable as a kid on the inside.  Scrimmer, so talented and tragic!  Guert, the handsome and stately college president (think, Mit Romney hair) who falls head over heels for a gay freshman, Owen (aka Buddah), in what is somehow a sweet rather than creepy romance.  Even the rest of the team was lovable, with their macho locker room banter and disgusting college guy habits.  The only characters that rubbed people the wrong way were Pella, Guert's daughter and her ex-husband David.  Some thought Pella was a spoiled brat and pretty bitchy (although that reaction is probably just from siding with Schwartzy!).  The other critique was that the end of the story fell apart.  But El Jefe says, what's wrong with digging up a dead body and burying it in a lake?  And others actually found Owen's tribute to Guert out on the boat to be quite touching.  Of course, one of life's great unsolved mysteries will be whether Guert took his own life (insert gesture of tying noose around neck and head jerking sideways), or his ticker simply gave out.  We'll never know.  In sum, this story was a joy to read with something to like for everyone:  humor, drama, sports, romance, coming of age, tragedy and triumph.  No doubt a BC hall-of-famer alongside the likes of Life of Pi, Middlesex, and Infidel.

From the Shortstop Hall of Fame

Honus "the Flying Dutchman" Wagner, Louisville Colonels and Pittsburgh Pirates, 1897-1917

Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees, 1994 to present

Derek Jeter, New York Yankees, 1995 to present

Cal "Iron Man" Ripkin, Baltimore Orioles, 1981-2001

Luis "Little Louie" Aparicio, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox, 1956-1973

Oscar "R2D2" Mullen, Milwaukee Brewers, March 2012

Our next meeting is at the Foxx's house on Wednesday, April 4th.  El Jefe was on app duty but needs a sub, the Highlander is on dessert.  As it is Bisnonna's 89th birthday, El Jefe and the Doctor will not be able to make it.  So sorry to miss as we are diving headlong into the Hunger Games craze.  Take El Jefe's word for it:  just go straight for the trilogy box set, you won't regret it.  Until next time, you konw what to do... xoej

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