A funny thing happened this morning. As I rolled over and woke up at 545 with my alarm, I was immeadiately aware that something was different then the previous handful of mornings. I was feeling rested and energetic even before I stepped in the shower. On my drive to work I was alert and focussed, glad to be free of the cold I had over the last week. When I arrive at work I have a little downtime before it is time to wake the guys are start the day. During this time, generally 630-800, I fight to stay awake, mostly surfing various webpages on the computer, and doing a small amount of preparation for the day. If I pick up a book during this time I fear that sleep might envelope me because books have this effect on me regardless of how much I am enjoying the material. This morning I read some of my current novel, and while enjoying it, realized that I was being overwhelmed with things I wanted to share with others. So here I am, doing just that.
Currently, I am making a concerted effort to read more of the classic novels that I have missed out on. I have scoured the modernlibrary.com list of 100 best novels as mentioned in my last post, and set out to tackle some of the novels that interest me. Some of the novels on the list I have considered reading before and never got around to it, but the novels that most excite me are ones I have never heard of. After thoroughly enjoying "A Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, number 5 on the list, I went to the library and took out 6 more novels that hold a place on the list. My first project is a 570 page tome, complete with a 35 page introduction, bringing it 605 pages total. "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison is at number 19 on the list and I have been thoroughly impressed through the first 250 pages. Set in the United States it follows a young black man's struggle to understand the current climate while facing segregation and prejudice in the early 20th century. Vague on details about the main character, then focus of the work is more on the situations he encounters and how he reacts to them. I always enjoy a different style of writing and I like the unique way that this novel is structured. I keep getting the impression that more details will eventually be revealed about the protagonist, but ultimately the story is being spun in a way that may make those details irrelevant or at least unimportant. I will share my thoughts about the novel in a later post after I finish reading it.
I love sports. It's been said in this space of the blogosphere and it has been said regularly throughout my life. I don't love sports commentary unless it is done well. Overly polished discussion where nothing of consequence is said does not appeal to me. I don't want a sports television personality that is afraid to say anything opinionated. I'd rather hear something I didn't agree with then be forced to suffer through nauseating regurgitated crap from a former coach or a former player. My motivation in discussing this topic was a quote I heard the other day on The Score. The third string sports network in Canada, The Score struggles to keep up with TSN and sportsnet with what appears to be a very tight budget. Holding the rights to almost no live sports, they manage to survive on the strength of their personalities. For many years they boasted what was my favourite sports highlight show duo, Sid Sixeiro and Tim Macallef. Their dynamic duo has since moved on, and they now have a variety of lesser known personalities delivering their nightly highlight packs. This leads me to one of my all-time favourite sports personalities, Cam Stewart aka The Raging Redhead. He first appeared on The Score a few years ago alongside loose cannon Gabe Morency on their show "Drive This". I loved the loose format, less structure led to more opinionated diatribes from both men. They discussed all sports, and usually all discussions were focussed on betting the sports they were discussing. Both men had a penchant for saying things that may be considered out of line, and I couldn't imagine they would have found a home on either TSN or sportsnet. Anyway, Cam Stewart has found a new home on The Score's morning show, where along with Renee Paquette he discusses the relevant sports topics from the night before. I don't know when the show was developed, but I believe it is recent creation, and it works. Renee plays the proverbial straight man while Cam peppers the show with humour and extremely well informed sports commentary. In 10 minutes of the 30 minute show I was laughing multiple times. First, they discuss a bet they made about the Clippers/Grizzles playoff series, if the Clippers win, Renee wins and Cam has to go to hot yoga in spandex while Renee and a film crew catch every minute. If Cam wins, Renee has to take him to eat at a seafood buffet of his choice. They discuss the Nashville Predators/Phoenix Coyotes series and Cam peppers us with a few plays on Renee and Rinne, Rinne Paquette, Pekka Renee and so on. Then they move on to discussing whether or not they know anyone who cheers for the Coyotes, and Renee mentions that she got a barage of emails from Coyotes fans after their last show when she said there was no Coyotes fans outside of Phoenix. Cam drops this bomb: "I told you Renee. There is a bunch of Coyotes fans living in their mom's basements cheering every Mike Smith save. Some of them even have their own apartments!" This had me laughing so hard that I am still thinking about it 4 days later. Thank you Cam Stewart for being real.
On another sports topic, I have held my tongue long enough. I pick a fantasy team with a good friend of mine in what is evolving into a pretty competitve league. This is year 2 of a 5 year keeper league, and we are off to a blistering start. Some of this can be attributed to circumstance as points are gathered based on weekly matchups and we got lucky when our opponents didn't perform very well. Some of our success can chalked up to some solid drafting and good manuevering prior to the draft where we lined ourselves up with lots of higher picks and were able to draft depth at most positions. This league involved keepers, where we kept 9 roster players from last year and 2 farm players. We had significant depth last year, so we parlayed this into a few trades that provided higher picks for the draft, hence the depth again this year. Our blazing start through the first 3 weeks has been fun but I realize that the season is long and many ridiculous things can happen. I will enjoy the success for now, thank you very much.
As I lose steam with this entry, I want to put to paper my ambitious plans this week for physical activity. I have had a few slow days here due to my cold knocking me down a bit, but starting today I have a renewed energy that I hope to translate into a solid week of fitness. First and foremost I need to get back to my weightlifting routine, which will involve 5 workouts over the next 7 days. I want to get out jogging a few times, I have no excuse as Asher has really taken a liking to his stroller and smiles throughout when I take him jogging. Jasmine has been talking excitedly about learning tennis, and she is even more gung ho after we went and hit a few balls last week. I plan to take her again on Tuesday as she has the day off from school. Asher can run around the court and chase the balls that get away. We will see how that goes. We always swim on Wednesday afternoons. I plan on taking Jasmine out for a bike ride or two, and if all goes well maybe a time or two on the basketball court this week would work. I know this all sounds overwhelming, but I would love to get this all into one week. I will update this space at the end of the week and let everyone know how I did. Until next time.