Nov 292016
 

Just climbed out of the bathroom with the family and the dog. Wow. We haven’t done that since the boys got all spindly. (And kudos to everyone for being reasonably sweet-smelling.) So we went from no significant rain for seven months to a line of severe thunderstorms with embedded tornadoes. It’s not over as I type, but it looks mostly so.

It’s tough for me to get any mental purchase on writing for pleasure right now. I have the same kinds of thoughts I always have, but I haven’t had the time or the frame of mind to stop and jot a few notes, which is how I usually do things. (Or, I have potentially entertaining ideas about people, but I know I couldn’t keep any writing about them effective yet vague enough to remain anonymous.)

That reminds me of the number one piece of advice I have for any writer (so far): be able to record an idea in any environment. Pen & paper; voice recorder on your phone; whatever, use it. If you have a good idea in the shower, get out and write it down. If you’re lying back down after getting up to pee in the middle of the night and you have a good idea, sit up and write it down. At least scrawl a few words to give your brain a fighting chance in the morning.

One of the biggest lies you will ever tell yourself is “I’ll remember that,” referring to a good idea.

No, you won’t. And the harder you try to pull it back from the abyss, the more quickly it will slip out of reach, just like sand in a closing fist. It is agonizing to remember nothing about an idea except that it was good. I had an idea about a month ago that I remember as possibly book-level in magnitude, and I can’t tell you the first thing about it because it was 4:30 in the morning and I wanted to go back to sleep more than I wanted to sit up on an elbow holding a flashlight in my teeth for two freakin’ minutes.

Is that tendency actually tactically worse with age? Or is it that I’m wise enough now to recognize the tragedy of it? Or a combination?

Sometimes this mental mood feels like “adrift.” Other times it feels like a growth opportunity, if I can figure out how to effectively listen for it.

 Posted by at 11:20 pm
Nov 272016
 

I don’t remember Punt ‘Bama Punt. I was 19 months old, and though I do remember a lot from my toddler years, I was not yet actively following Alabama football.

I feel like I remember it, though, because I’m treated to multiple viewings of it every November when the Iron Bowl is played.

You know, though, the part they never mention when they show that footage is exactly what I do remember about it: Alabama won the next nine Iron Bowls in a row. I was 8 years old the first time I attended an Iron Bowl in person, but I was 11 the first time I remember Alabama losing.

For the first part of my life, the Iron Bowl just didn’t happen any other way. Alabama always won. Why did Auburn keep coming to the game? I wondered.

Now, in addition to Punt ‘Bama Punt, I’m treated to multiple viewings of Kick Six, which I remember all too well. It is another iconic Iron Bowl ending—and another Auburn victory.

And by the way, Alabama has won three Iron Bowls in a row since Kick Six. That’s the first three-peat since 1990-92. It puts Nick Saban, as the Alabama head coach, at 7-3 vs. Auburn. His three losses are his first year, with limited implementation of The Process; 2010, opposing a freakish, lightning-in-a-bottle player; and Kick Six.

You may have noticed I didn’t make a lot of racket about Alabama winning the Iron Bowl last night. It’s mostly because that, while it pleases me, I also recognize it as the natural state of things. I’m looking to the calendar, forward and back, and thinking Alabama has this until 2023 or so.

I won’t begrudge Auburn its bizarre freak show victories, and having to watch their replays every year, when Alabama follows with calmly icing the rivalry for most of a decade at a time.

Steel yourselves, Auburn. We’re just gettin’ sat down good.

 Posted by at 9:07 pm
Oct 282016
 

Do you remember it ever being this consistently warm this late in the year? I’ve usually been able to wear an Alabama sweatshirt or two to work on a Friday by now. It’s two days from Halloween, and I’m wearing shorts and a Tacky Jacks T-shirt to my son’s Scholars Bowl competition this weekend. (I […]

 Posted by at 11:26 pm

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