why you at the bar if you ain’t poppin’ the bottles?


Writing: I’m 6000 to 10,000 words away from finishing my second novel manuscript. I started on January 1st and will (hopefully) finish before Halloween. Considering I haven’t been as religious about my schedule – twice a week, 1800 words a night – as I could have been, I feel all right. My plan at this point: incorporate the feedback from my alpha readers (you know if you’re one of them), farm it out to a larger crop of beta readers to evaluate as a complete manuscript, then find an agent. Ulp.

Football: on Monday I rallied Fraley and Melissa to come watch the Ravens with me at a nearby sports bar. The fact that the Joshua Tree in Davis Square gets 2.5 stars on Yelp says more of Yelp’s user base than the bar itself – it works just fine as a sports bar. An older gentleman in dusty Redskins gear spotted my Joe Flacco jersey and sidled over.

“How is he?” he asked, of the Ravens’ rookie starter.

“He’s the best we’ve had in years,” I said.

“You want a drink?”

“No thanks; I’m good.”

He shook his head. “You want a better drink?”

Am I doing this wrong? “No, I’m all right for now.”

He shifted his weight and looked into the distance, sort of a stealth eye-roll. “You want to bet a drink?”

“Oh! On the game.” If this meticulously updated weblog in which I talk about gaming and how great it is to live alone gave you the impression that I’m cool, let me clear that up now. I am not cool. I do not get the street or its inhabitants. I can neither hustle nor flow. I am King Square of Flatland.

“If it were anyone other than Ravens / Steelers, I’d take you up on it,” I told him. “Not tonight, though. It’s going to be a bloodbath.” And it was: an OT squeaker laden with personal fouls and brutal tackles. Andre Frazier (for Pittsburgh) had to be carted off the field in traction on the opening punt – and the Steelers were the kicking team. Two Steelers players ended their seasons on Monday, including the very promising rookie Rashard Mendenhall (c/o a Ray Lewis hit, naturally). Flacco played a better game than Roflsberger, but the Steelers are hard to beat at home. Still, I’m proud of my Ravens.

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