Well, my beloved Chicago Cubs have dropped the first two games of their National League Division Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and done it in listless fashion. They will return to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field with their backs against the wall, needing to win three straight games to keep alive their dream of nipping their World Series futility streak in the bud before it reaches the century mark - literally. And it's yet another salvo in the ongoing pain and suffering that is being a Cubs fan. At least there's been no cataclysmic, scratch-your-head event like the goat, the black cat or the Bartman to drive us members of Cubs Nation up the freaking wall. But there's always Saturday.
So I'm not a happy camper right now. The optimism that was brimming over my soul on Friday night, when the Cubs clinched the playoffs, is at a low ebb right now. But things could always be worse, as my dear friend Beth has shown me this week, as she's dealt with the hospitalization of both her parents with grace and strength. Sure, she's stressed out of her gourd, but that's to be expected. Beth is one of my best friends and, more often than not, one of my heroes - not just because she's a brilliant writer (see the link to her blog to your right), an excellent conversationalist and has fantastic eyes that can melt the largest glacier on Earth. (Boy, did that sound lame.) She rocks because she keeps my world in perspective. Whenever I get down on myself for some inane reason, she only has to pull one word out of her extensive vocabulary - "tsumani". It's a simple premise, that whatever your deal is, at least your home and existence haven't been wiped out by a massive tidal wave. But more often than not, it knocks me back into the real world. It's to the point that Beth doesn't even have to say it to me - I say it for her and then promptly pipe down, looking at the landscape of my life with open eyes.
Don't get me wrong - Beth is a great listener and gives great advice whenever I ask her for it. But it's good to have friends like her, and others in my life, who love you enough to call you on your crap when it's just that. And if nothing else, what she's gone through this week (both of her parents are back home, by the way) has shown me again how lucky I am that both of my parents are still in reasonably good health, and that I have a roof over my head and am flooded with work these days - and, yeah, even that my favorite baseball team defied the odds this season and actually made the playoffs. So if they lose on Saturday and get swept out of the post-season - hell, yeah, I'm going to be pissed and annoyed and probably grumpy for the next few days. But, you know, they'll get another chance to go all the way next year. And, God willing, I'll be around to yell at them all over again.