Posts

De-familiarization, Dramatic Irony, Rajesh

I’m sure everybody out there has a similar story: the one where you or someone in your family upgraded some bit of technology just because.  The upgrade isn’t needed—nothing is broken—but you or your family member decides to splurge for entertainment’s sake, for a better quality of whatever it is that particular gizmo offers.  Maybe it’s a new computer you buy when you get your first ever paycheck, or maybe it’s the next generation iPhone you get with that holiday bonus from your boss.  You don’t explicitly need these things since your previous version works just fine, but you go for it nonetheless.  It’s a personal treat, a gift you convince yourself you’ve earned for whatever reason, sometimes justified and other times a moment of weakness, or, God forbid, the continuation of a bad, bad habit of spontaneous spending.
I remember in the nineties my dad's getting “our family’s” first CD player.  He walked in the door with the huge box, opened it up, and extracted the huge contrapt…

Sherlock Holmes, Champions Trophy Final, Snakes--Poisonous Snakes

It’s been a day longer than I wanted it to be between posts because yesterday, when I went to retrieve my computer, I realized I left it at work and wouldn’t be able to use it until the following day after I went back to school and brought it home.  “Lies,” you say, reader; I can hear you from here.  “You don’t work during the summer; you’re a teacher.”  And you’d be right, there.  I am a teacher, and I don’t do my normal job during the summer.  I do, though, teach—or facilitate, really—a Sherlock Holmes enrichment camp for middle school boys who are thinking about attending the high school at which I work.  Just what is a Sherlock Holmes enrichment camp?  Well, there are no hard-and-fast definitions like there are with a sporting camp or a day camp since, as far as I know, mine is the only Sherlock Holmes camp in existence, but, suffice to say, where you learn how to play soccer at a soccer camp and you learn how to camp at a camp camp, this Sherlock Holmes camp affords the attendee…

India v. Bangladesh Round-Up

If I told you I was a groundskeeper and gardener at a stately countryside manor house, you shouldn’t exactly take it literally.  Maybe I am or maybe, I’m not.  Maybe one could say that I am even though most wouldn’t quite go that far.  The truth is—if truth is anything more than an individual’s subjective filtering of various external stimuli—the truth is I live in a regular house in the suburbs of a major city in Missouri, and I do all the lawn work and the planting of the flowers because my wife already does enough and because she doesn’t want to do those things.  Manor house?  Well, our subdivision is called Something-Something Manors, so I guess every home in the zone is technically a manor house.  Is it large?  Not really, but it’s bigger than our last house, it’s bigger than any house I’ve lived in—it’s larger than a lot of other houses—big.  How about the countryside?  While I don’t live in the countryside right now, this area certainly was considered the country in 1985, befo…

England v. Pakistan Recap

I hate to say this, but there are certain things that I take for granted every day.  I try not to, but I do it anyway.  It’s a symptom of their being there every second of every day right when I need them; I just get used to their presence, their availability  Heating, electricity, Wifi internet access—these are privileges that spoiled me have come to expect since they are ubiquitous where I live.  If they weren’t, I’d make due, and I’d probably be a better person for it in that I’d recognize a boon when it smacked me in the face, tipped me upside down, and shook me until my lunch money hit the tile now above me. 
Today, I woke up to some of the most viscous, asphyxiating heat and humidity that you can only imagine if you live in my area of the country where inhaling warm water is common at this time of year.  The problem was, I was inside my bed indoors.  The one luxury other than running water I take most for granted, the air conditioning, was out.  I remember—and this is shameful…

Chekov, Shakespeare, Leitmotiv, Jaws

Anton Chekov is my favorite non-Shakespearean playwright and one of my favorite writers overall for a variety of reasons, but for the purposes of this post, let’s stick with a modern theatrical technique he pioneered in which he would toy with the audience’s consciousness as it related to the production the same way Shakespeare would ramp up the tension and cut it with some sophomoric humor just to build it back up again and, in the process, making the second of the play’s climaxes feel even more dramatic than the first like when you get into the hot tub at the hotel, wait for your body to get used to it, jump in the pool, get used to that, and then get back in the hot tub again.  The hot tub, balmy the first time, feels unbearably hot the second time you enter even though its temperature remained the same.  It’s about contrast.  What you’re feeling now versus what you were feeling a second ago.  Shakespeare did it with tension, and Chekov—he did it with audience awareness.  In the b…

Broken Streaks, Tea Parties, Working Out, Jason Roy

The streak is over, everyone.  I did not post yesterday for the first time since I started the blog.  It was well over one hundred posts in a row, a pretty nice total if I do say so myself, but a pressure-packed streak as well since, when something goes on for that long, some days you want to get through it merely for the sake of the ongoing record instead of because you are actually inspired to write something.  So, in that sense, I feel free from the self-imposed shackles that held me to the kitchen table most mornings just after breakfast until I finished about a thousand words on cricket.  Now that the streak is broken, I can just write when I feel like it, which will probably be every day anyway—no harm no foul.  On the other hand, I’m a little anxious about the broken streak, to be honest.  A long record of writing like that, I think, is a good thing, not a bad one, in that forcing oneself to do something no matter what each and every day is a surefire method for getting better…

Yorkers, Yorkers, Yorkers

What was that PlayStation game a few years back where you as the bowler bowled dots and singles to fill up a meter that allowed you one almost unplayable yorker or bouncer?  I remember it being fairly popular.  Was is EA Cricket ’07, or something like that?  Doesn’t matter, really, but the implication was that the yorker and the bouncer were balls that required the momentum and confidence that bowler only gets through a series of in-match successes—almost a special move or a finisher—something you as the bowler built up to and eventually earned.  We know now, of course, what we knew then, which is that a bowler, say Bumrah or Malinga, can bowl the yorker (let’s just stick to the yorker for the sake of my question) whenever he decides even though it might be best to pick and choose the opportune moments to fire the toe crushing laser, so the build-up, the filling of the abstract meter, it was a convention of the game and not in the least bit realistic.  It made the video game more fun…