Wednesday, April 23, 2008


     The air was crisp, the beer was cold, and the bats were sizzling.  It was a grand time at the old ball park last night as Rags and I went to Jim Patterson Stadium to watch the Louisville Cardinals play the Kentucky Wildcats before a regular season record crowd approaching 4,000 fans.  

     After we settled into some seats along the first base line, Rags and I began to notice the crowd.  There was Brian Brohm, future NFL quarterback, strolling in with some friends to view the action.  Next came hoopsters Terrence Williams and Andre McGee, signing autographs as they sought their seats.  Angel McCoughtry and the entire women's team were there, and they were introduced to the crowd before the first pitch.  As U of L football coach Steve Kragthorpe entered and walked by, we couldn't help noticing his unusual ensemble:  baseball cap, polo shirt, gym shorts and tennis shoes.  

     Once the action began, it was riveting.  Kentucky initially built a 3-0 lead, and it looked like the night was going to belong to the Wildcats.  The Cards kept fighting back, though, with their comeback anchored by a clutch RBI double by Drew Haynes, the freshman center fielder from New Albany.  In the end, Louisville won 6-5 in dramatic fashion, when third baseman Chris Dominguez singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning.  

     It was a glorious and memorable spring evening.  The weather was perfect, and the game turned out just the way I wanted.  More than that, though, was the fact that I got to share it with my bosom bud and life-long pal, Larry Ragland.

Friday, April 18, 2008


     Ever since I was a little boy, I've been known to be rather particular about some things.  Some aspects of human behavior--and particularly those things that seem especially rude and insensitive to me--really get under my skin, and irk me to no end.  I thought it was about time that I shared some of those things with you now.  These are everyday things, and they are not major felonies.  Still, I would urge you to think about them.  I know other people who are bothered by these things too, and so I implore you not to dismiss them as the unjustified idiosyncrasies of a random nut.  (Although I do admit to being kind of a random nut on occasion.)  Any road, here are three things that really cause my skin to crawl:

     1) Chip Chomping.  I absolutely love to eat at authentic Mexican restaurants.  To me, no grub is more satisfying.  And of course, part of the pleasure of eating at Mexican restaurants is receiving a bowl full of fresh warm tortilla chips and salsa to enjoy prior to the main course.  Everyone seems to enjoy the chips.  In this setting, nothing is more rude, annoying and distracting to me than having to endure the sound of someone nearby loudly chomping on the chips.  Please!  

     Why do some people feel that they should bite into the chip with a fully opened mouth, causing shock waves to reverberate around the restaurant?  How rude! Please, break the chip in half and close your mouth before you take a bite.  There is no legitimate reason that anyone at an adjacent table should ever be subjected to the sound of you devouring your chips.  

     2) Failure to use turn signals.  Our vehicles are equipped with turn signals for a reason.  When we activate them, we make other drivers aware of our intent to either change lanes or to complete a left or a right hand turn.  Turn signals help to avoid accidents, and they also help to let people know our intent so that they don't have to sit there like dummies waiting to see what we are going to do.  Turn signals are a wonderful invention, and thoughtful motorists use them without fail prior to making a lane change or a turn.  More and more, however, I encounter inconsiderate drivers who act as if using a turn signal is too much to ask of them.  They can't be bothered to flip their wrist to activate the turn signal.  How rude!  Please, think of others and use your turn signal every time you are planning to change lanes or make a turn when other cars are around.  

      3) Public nose blowing.  This one may seem funny, but it encompasses a life-long mystery to me.  For the life of me, I cannot understand how it ever became a socially acceptable practice to blow one's nose in public.  Really, could anything be more disgusting and gross?  I literally cringe whenever I witness such a coarse and vulgar act.  It is particularly revolting when people blow their noses in restaurants.  Grotesque!  I can't imagine doing that.  If I ruled the world, I would mandate that anyone needing to blow his or her nose be required either to go outside or to the nearest restroom to complete the task.   As Charles Barkley once observed in a commercial, "Anything less would be uncivilized."   

     And there you have an initial list of three things that really, truly annoy me.  I humbly suggest that if people would be considerate and refrain from doing these things, the world would be a much better place. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


     I regularly work with a group of artists at the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center.  The artists are all creative, friendly and absolutely delightful people.  The sessions are usually held in a large life drawing studio at the center.  

     Now that the weather is getting warmer, the group is looking for a place to have some outdoor sessions.  A private courtyard, patio area or meadow would be ideal.  If you have any suggestions for such a location, or if you are an artist and would like to participate in the sessions once a suitable place has been found, please let me know.   

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Thus far, I have made it to three University of Louisville baseball games this year. Today, my brother Jonathan and I were on hand to see the Cards dispatch highly-ranked St. John's, 10-3. It was an unbelievably glorious day. Going to Jim Patterson Stadium has become a splendid spring pastime for me. Today's seventy degree weather and brilliant sunshine made the experience all the better. I truly love to feel the sun warming my skin as I watch the Cards zipping the ball around the infield with well-honed precision.

I am enjoying the Cards all the more this year because of Drew Haynes. Drew is the starting center fielder for Louisville. I have literally watched Drew play baseball since he was four years old, when he and Brendan were T-ballers together at the YMCA in Jeffersonville. Over the years, Drew and Brendan played on many New Albany Township all-star teams together. They have been friends for many years. I know that Drew is not only a fine athlete, but a great young man as well. His parents, Richard and Paula Haynes, are wonderful people. I shared some warm, reflective moments with them at yesterday's 'Ville game.

Today, in addition to covering center field like the dew, Drew had two hits and drove in a key RBI against St. John's. It is fantastic to see him excelling on the collegiate stage. I also love being able to chat with Brendan about Drew's success. I know that Brendan enjoys reading about Drew on-line, and hearing about his play from afar at his dorm room at Annapolis.

I can tell you this: I will continue to be at Jim Patterson Stadium to support Drew and the Cards whenever possible. I hope to see you, dear CoffeeSpoons reader, at the ol' ball park soon.