CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Lost in Thought

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By W.T. Wimpy Hiroto
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It’s one thing to be physically lost in Orange County or a rain forest, but what can be more frustrating than being mentally wasted? I mean, you know, right smack in the middle of a conversation you forget what you were talking about. Worse yet, the name of your partner in palaver? Zounds and shut my mouth! What comes next? An I.D. bracelet? A survey of “facilities”?

After all is said and settled, laughs galore and kidding aside, reality sets in and the naked truth has to be confronted. Two certainties. You’re in the throes of “losing it” or have already. The outward signs are undeniable: the names of grand kids become a jumbled mess; forget about ages, birthdates and school status. In conversation with peers, you can bet on two common denominators: “Has it been that long?” and “You can’t be serious!”.

If this be the rite/writ/right of aging, amen and so be it. Unfortunately there is no surgery or uplift for the mind. Some might get a face lift or tummy tuck but sadly there is no cranium replacement or Botox for the brain. Just as well, don’t you think? What would we do with two Buffetts? Gates, of the Bill variety?

Hopefully this will not be an opening salvo of future penitence-in-waitings. When (not if) CR2S makes social or factual errors in the weeks ahead, be kind and considerate. Just pretend they were made on purpose to be clever. If there is one thing I have learned to do over the years, it is to play old. And I do a very good job at it. (Unfortunately someone else said it before I had a chance.)

The fact that I am currently reading months-old New Yorker magazine issues is of no redeeming importance, but maybe worthy of comment. Reading the words of top flight writers and reporters is never a waste of time, even when long after an event or happening. Reading about circumstances that led up to the economic disaster are fascinating; the political machinations before Obama’s election were historic; in-depth reporting on how the Madoff scheme was allowed to flourish was anti-Semitic written by a Jew. Profiles on Sarah Palin, Alex Rodriguez, Supreme Court, international figures, the wars, journalism at its finest. Despite the status of journalists today, ranking between lawyers and used car salesmen, CR2S is still convinced some would make the best and brightest of politicians. Also, having spent much time with renowned cartoonists, I have always been intrigued by the magazine’s cartoons—most of which I don’t comprehend—but nevertheless try, like diabolical Sudoku challenges. (For the benefit of detail- minded readers, I peruse old NYer editionss after sister-in-law subscriber is finished.)

In answer to inquiries about the whereabouts of Corey Nakatani, he will resurface this week at Oaklawn Park in Nebraska. The jockey, much-maligned and equally admired, sold his Glendora home and has taken his tack to the Midwest. As well as a new wife and child. Praised in most quarters as a top tier rider, he dropped out of sight and competition locally due to nagging injuries (neck) and a cancerous reputation as a rider who talked too much, i.e., too honest. A quality admired in business and finance, but sure to get you ostracized in the insular world of Thoroughbred trainers and owners. Although definitely a profession for the young and hungry, Nakatani has inherent riding talents that should allow him to return to elite status in a new environment.

Citing an “unidentified but reliable source”, news accounts of pending agreements and breaking news are routinely qualified these days. The other popular excuse is someone “who is close to the negotiations but unauthorized to speak on behalf (of anyone).” Another agonizing qualifier is “the person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details have not been finalized.” And 99 percent of the time the leak is true. It’s so automatic they might as well cancel the press conference that has been set for the next day.

Some weeks ago I trumpeted the winning of a football wager against the trojans (lower case my choice). Several readers took umbrage. Meaning they were upset. Where, oh where, they asked, was my loyalty to the Cardinal and Gold?

Most regular readers are aware my wife was a UCLA graduate. [Can you think of any appellation more obtuse than being a Uclan?] But it would also explain my appreciation of the color powder blue. The so-called cross-town rivalry was never a disruptive factor in our union. The day of $50 annual tuition and $12 per unit has become so T-Rexish. Besides, she had basketball and I had football. And then . . .

Pete Carroll burst onto the scene and brought a decade of fame followed by shame, ably abetted by Mike “My Name is Not Michael” Garrett.

Nine years covered in a mere 25-word sentence. Ole Pete, his name was never Peter, will do reasonably well returning to professional ranks, but only because of the relative weakness of the Western division. And AD Garrett will probably survive almost certain sanctions of both the basketball and football programs [Did you know SC does not have a men’s soccer team?] But if the NCAA can’t figure out a free rent arrangement in five years, maybe Reggie Bush retains a barrister because it’s fashionable.

It is of no consequence or importance but CR2S’s only regret is the retirement of President Steven Sample in August.
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W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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