Monday, March 13, 2017

Random Notes, Mid-March 2017

In no particular order:
1) It's nor'easter time in the Northeast. Storm and blizzard warnings are in effect in my part of the country, and we are expecting at least a foot of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday. And I am not particularly uptight about any of it. The job I have now is one where appointments and such can moved without issue, and the schedule I have is easily transferable to another day, so the work part of it doesn't bother me. Other members of the house have various appointments on Tuesday, too, but again, there should be no problems dealing with it all. And on a larger scale--it will make everyone's summer a lot better if there is a significant snow pack melting in the early spring, especially those of us that like to garden and grow things to eat. And although there certainly is a lot of mention of the coming storm, I'm not getting the sense of dire apocalyptic doom that often accompanies these sort of predictions. Maybe the media has gone to that well too often; maybe it's just that there are enough real things to worry about for the country to get uptight about the weather. Either way, it's kind of refreshing to see a winter storm coming in the winter and not listening to breathless panic every time the news comes on.
2) The NCAA basketball tournament field was selected yesterday. And there are some that believe that Syracuse was done wrong by not being selected. They were a legitimate bubble team; I will give them that much. But ultimately, when you play 32 games, they all should matter, and this is a team that lost to two legitimately terrible teams (Boston College and St. John's, the latter by 33 points) and, after all. lost 14 games total. Could they have been picked over another team? Probably. Was it a grave injustice that they were allowed in? Not at all. And most Orange fans whose opinions I have seen are still basking in last year's glow, when a team that was much more deserving of getting left out than this one managed to catch fire in the tournament and make it to the Final Four.
And I think, as time passes, the mistake that joining the ACC was is becoming clearer. Syracuse is getting worse by the year, and with Boeheim retiring in a year or two, that's only going to get worse. Syracuse football has withered and died since moving to the ACC, and I now believe that this will be the fate of Syracuse basketball. It's hard to believe now, but teams like DePaul and Boston College used to be perennial powers, and now are perennial doormats after joining larger conferences where the willingness to put athletics first is necessary for schools to enjoy success. That commitment isn't there at Syracuse, and it only gets worse from here on out.
3) The home front continues to evolve. A funny thing happened after the decision to let go was made--with expectations lowered, the entire situation got a lot better. It's like pulling the plug on a respirator and watching the patient first survive, and then start to improve. I have no idea of whether the upturn is going to lead to an eventual robust healthiness, or whether it is merely temporary. And I am trying very much not to project ahead. But a few things that were causing problems have gone dormant or vanished, and it's actually been fun to be living here in the last week or so. Again, I'm not exactly ready to declare that all is going to well forever and ever, but it's nice to not walk around stewing about something most of the day.
And having said that... I'm not looking to start anything. But I am going to say that the vaunted, trumpeted "support" of women in the fellowship for other women in the fellowship is, often, a mask and a cipher. She got a job last week, and within a few days a couple of things were said on social media that made it quite clear that a particular group of women in this fellowship bear her ill will. Everyone--and I mean everyone--is supposed to be cut a break when they get clean and start trying to recover, regardless of personal circumstances, regardless of past issues. It's disappointing to see the gap between walk and talk in some of these cases. And it certainly does affect the willingness of people new to the program to become deeply involved in it. I didn't even tell her about what was said, because I know crap like that affects her more deeply than it does me. But I will say that I can understand the reservations she has always had about being a part of the fellowship a lot better than I did a month ago.
4) And wonder of wonders, Sabrina's decision to play softball again this spring appears to have been a good one. She not only made the team, but it appears that she is going to start and have a regular place in the lineup. I'm not totally sold that what she's been told is going to play out the way it's been sketched out. But Lord Farquaad already has shocked me by cutting two members of last year's state championship team because their commitment to the total program was lacking, in his eyes. So maybe it's legitimate. The first games are still weeks away, and much can still change. But for the first time since she was in the eighth grade, I am pleasantly surprised by the way the softball wind is blowing.

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