C. A. Casey

Another worthless writers blog

Harry Potter and the Hugo Award

Posted by Casey on October 13, 2007

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Okay. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I began my previous blogs about the Harry Potter books with every intention to be civil and positive and ended up trashing the books anyway. Well, I’ll just start with the trashing, because I can’t think of many positive things to say about this book.

First off, I just want to say, I’m glad I finally read the Harry Potter book that won a Hugo Award. I couldn’t believe a Harry Potter book was good enough to be nominated, much less win the major award in science fiction and fantasy, bestowed by the World Science Fiction Society. All I can say, if I had a book nominated that year, I would not have been happy losing to a rather mediocre fantasy for children that had no business vying for a Hugo in the first place.

I hated the film version of this book. The book was a little better than the film–I wasn’t compelled to throw it against the wall. I was compelled to put it down about halfway through when the story came to a grinding halt and lumbered much too long through a series of boring pointless scenes. I kept going but the pace never really picked up to the end of the book.

The pacing problem is only partly Rowling’s fault, I think. Consumer and corporate pressure on both Rowling and her editors to finish these books resulted in poorly paced, bloated novels.

The final confrontations of Harry against evil remain the weakest parts of these books. They’re too leisurely paced and there’s only so much one can do while waving a wand and shouting weird Latin phrases. The ending of this book is unfocused and lazy in execution. But those are ever present traits of Rowling’s writing style. The lack of focus and laziness is just more apparent in the dramatic climaxes because these are the sections where the writing has to be sharp and to the point and . . . logical.

Okay, the readers of the first edition caught the little problem of the ghosts coming from Voldemort’s wand in the wrong order and it’s been corrected in later editions. I read the first edition and was pulled out the story to re-read the section and wonder why Rowling messed up the logic of a simple spell just so Potter’s mother could be the last to emerge from the wand. That was the only reason I could think of to put the ghosts out of order.

Then later in the book, we learn that the ghosts were to appear in the reverse order they died, which means Rowling didn’t consciously mess up the order, it means the copy editor fell down on the job. Just as the copy editor didn’t catch all the times H, H, & R didn’t use Snuffles instead of Sirius. Why even have Sirius make the request for them to use Snuffles when talking about him, when they do it once at the beginning of the conversation and then use Sirius after that? Again, I blame a lot of this on the pressure to get the book out to impatient readers.

One piece of information came from this book that I thought should have been, at least, hinted at in the Chamber of Secrets. The feathers in both Harry Potter’s and Voldemort’s wands are from Dumbledore’s phoenix.

Next, Book 5. All 870 pages of it.

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I Love It

Posted by Casey on October 13, 2007

87-year-old Doris Lessing won the Nobel Prize for Literature. So what kind of reaction would we expect from a woman who turned down a damehood? Whose work encompasses communist, psychological, and feminist themes? And short stories about cats.

She does not disappoint . . .

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More Clever Book Marketing

Posted by Casey on October 13, 2007

I still am not interested in glancing through, much less buying this book, but I give props for clever marketing:

Save Oprah’s Book Club

Oh, and I saw this book in Target today in an end of an aisle display next to . . . the latest Harry Potter book. I think that’s all that needs to be said about this book.

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Look Ma, I’m Curling

Posted by Casey on October 13, 2007

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Saturday’s Little Adventure

Posted by Casey on October 10, 2007

Saturday was a beautiful day and I just wanted to go out and play.

First stop was to check on the Glory Hole, since we’ve had only one major rain since the last time we looked at it back in July. This is what it looked like back then.

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This is what is looks like now . . .

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This is what it’s supposed to look like . . .

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We need rain. Real bad.

A half-dozen Asian-American students were lined up with their sleep black motorcycles trying to get a photo with all of them in it. One of the students put the camera on the edge of the road, set the timer and ran to pose with the others. One of them spotted me and asked if I’d take their picture. Which I did with pleasure.

We headed for Winters to have lunch and went by a town park filled with people. It turned out to be a children’s festival.

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The kids got to chose a pumpkin to take home . . .

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There were lots of games and activities for the kids but the best thing were the exotic critters.

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We had lunch at the Putah Creek Cafe, which is a nice corner diner in downtown Winters. I had a veggie burger and a soy Chai.

They served Marionberry pie with two scoops of ice cream on it. Note to self. Make some vegan Marionberry pie. Marionberries are a type of blackberry grown in Marion County, Oregon. When I lived in Portland, I used to visit the quaint German village of Mt. Angel, Oregon in Marion County, where they have an Oktoberfest that gets 300,000 visitors. The town’s population is 3,700. I’d get Marionberry soda from the Mt. Angel Brewery.

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After lunch we went to Solano Lake to commune with nature for a while.

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That night I felt relaxed and at peace. The sign of a successful day having fun.

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Did I Mention I Love Snakes?

Posted by Casey on October 7, 2007

Basketball withdrawals are not pleasant . . . So I had to go out and play . . . Little did I know I’d encounter a taffy yellow and white snake in Winters, California . . .

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I love snakes. Can’t resist touching them. They are wonderful creatures and everyone thinks I’m nuts for liking them. Go figure.

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My Big Moment on National TV

Posted by Casey on October 4, 2007

My big moment on ABC TV came last year—August 19, 2006, when the Monarchs booted out the Houston Comets in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs.

At halftime, I was making my way through the chaos of people behind the scorers table and on the baseline to get to where my friends were seated in the stands. It’s a tricky business dodging around people and cameras and cables and security people making sure everyone’s where they’re allowed to be.

All of a sudden a white jersey came into my range of vision and a hand gently stopped my progress as the white jersey eased around me and disappeared. I knew it was Yolanda Griffith without even looking up. Some people just have a presence about them. What I marveled at was the grace and strength she stopped me from plowing into her and how she slithered around me without missing a beat.

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Curler in Training

Posted by Casey on October 3, 2007

Yes. Good readers, I have curled. There is photographic evidence. I hope the holder of this precious evidence will email it to me before he sell copies of it on Ebay for bunches of money.

As a preface to all this, I used to be athletic as a kid. Good at softball, basketball, baseball, track and ballet . . . then I got Osgood-Schlatter Disease–I wasn’t allowed to walk for more than a half hour or so a day for a year so I wouldn’t do too much damage to my knee as I outgrew the disease. I spent years hiking the rugged hills of Southern Illinois to strengthen the knee. But it continued to be injured and abused through the years, including getting torn to bits in a bike accident, which was pretty much the last straw for it to even pretend to be normal again.

So I have a bum knee that I have to pamper to keep it working properly. But I miss doing things like hiking and playing sports. I wish I could try out for the women’s football team. That’s something I’d really like to try, at least once.

Curling is something I can do. I can use a stick to deliver the stone instead of crouching down and sliding, and that’s what I practiced Friday night. I grew up in the Midwest and am used to wintry conditions and have had to walk on ice a lot slicker than the pebbled curling ice to get across parking lots and across campuses to school and work.

I’m proud to say, even though I was running in my regular shoes several feet on the ice to deliver the stone I never slipped and fell. I think I can really do this sport so I’m joining the Wine Country Curlers.

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So wish me luck . . .

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Harry Potter — the Third Book

Posted by Casey on October 3, 2007

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the Harry Potter movies. I liked the director’s touch a lot and was very disappointed when he didn’t do the next movie.

The book is also much better than the first two. The writing is more confident, stronger, less self-conscious, less forced. Practice makes perfect and Rowling certainly improved as a writer with this book. I didn’t lose interest part way through, as I did with the first two, which means she’s dropping more interesting crumbs of information that are resolved at the end of the book. It still tends to drag and she still has problems with pacing her scenes, but there’s enough strength of imagination and story to keep the reader from wandering off.

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The difference between this book and the first two is she finally got away from consciously writing for kids. Now an argument can be made that the increasing sophistication level of the books mirrors the growth of the protagonist. The writing-to-appeal-to-kids seems a little forced in the first two books but I don’t think Rowling was trying to make the reading level equivalent to Harry Potter’s abilities at ages eleven and twelve. It’s hard enough writing a book and then consciously altering the writing style on top of that. I think Rowling finally got confident enough in her writing to let her natural style come out.

There are things that continue to drive me crazy about her writing. Her action and suspenseful scenes are paced the same as her non-action scenes and it pretty near kills the action and suspense every time. Her use of adverbs is laughable and unnecessary and sometimes just wrong. I’m appalled that they got by the editor. On the other hand, she may have had thousands of adverbs in her original manuscripts and these are the ones the editor missed crossing out. Just say no to adverbs. Really. They add nothing to the story (except a good laugh because a lot of them are Tom Swifties) and ruin otherwise good sentences.

Now on to the major problem I have with Azkaban. The fantasy slips. In a major way. For fantasy to be credible, an author has to build rules for how the magic works within the fantasy world and then follow these rules without exception. If the rules start slipping then credibility goes out the window and anyone can save the day (or do anything) by just snapping their fingers or waving a wand. If there are no rules for magic, then magic can solve everything in the story. The story has no real tension or suspense because there’s no chance of failure for the protagonist.

Rowling lets the readers know early on that Hermione is doing something that allows her to attend two classes at the same time. She then uses this same device to allow Harry to save the day. So far so good. Actually a good way to make a minor mysterious story element into the key for resolving the plot. The problem is, Rowling set up rules for this Time-Turner for Hermione to attend classes and then changed the rules when Hermione and Harry use it at the end of the book.

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The Time-Turner allows Hermione to go back in time to attend a class at the same time as the class she just attended (I think that makes sense). The rules for Hermione is she cannot tell anyone what she’s doing.

Now, when Dumbledore allows Harry and Hermione to use the Time-Turner to save Sirius Black he says, “But remember this, both of you: you must not be seen. Miss Granger, you know the law–you know what is at stake . . . You–must–not–be–seen.”

So if the law is you can’t be seen when you use the Time-Turner, Hermione can’t be seen when she’s going back in time to attend class. But in the middle of the book, Ron says, “I heard her talking to Professor Vector, that Arithmancy witch, this morning. They were going on about yesterday’s lesson, but Hermione can’t’ve been there, because she was with us in Care of Magical Creatures! And Ernie McMillan told me she’s never missed a Muggle Studies class, but half of them are at the same time as Divination, and she’s never missed one of them either!”

Obviously, she’s not only seen but is fully engaged in those classes she attends using the Time-Turner.

And minutes after Dumbledore tells them they cannot be seen because it’s a law, Hermione tells Harry, “Professor McGonagall made me swear I wouldn’t tell anyone. She had to write all sorts of letters to the Ministry of Magic so I could have one. She had to tell them that I was a model student, and that I’d never, ever use it for anything except my studies . . . ” And Harry never thinks to ask, “But how did you do that without being seen?” since Dumbledore had been so adamant about it and Hermione keeps reminding Harry they can’t be seen while they save Sirius Black.

This is such a major slip in every way–plotting, world building, rules of magic–that it undermines the Time-Turner as a plot-resolving device. I’m surprised the editor didn’t catch it, since story continuity is something editors keep track of.

I hate to see such lazy attention to major plot points, especially in such a popular book. I’m afraid the quality of these books have suffered from the pressure Rowling was under to finish them and the publisher was under to get them to the readers. Putting creative writing on corporate time-tables that cater more to the consumer than the writer results in books that couldn’t possibly be as good as they would have been if Rowling had been given the time she really needed to fully engage her imagination for each book.

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US Women Win

Posted by Casey on October 1, 2007

The USA Senior National Basketball Team beat Cuba, 101-71, for the gold and a trip to the Olympics today. Congratulations everyone. The powers that be in the WNBA can breath a sigh of relief now. It would have been ugly trying to muster together the team for the Olympic qualifier in June in the middle of the WNBA season.

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And the USA Senior National Soccer team overcame their loss to Brazil and the phenomenal playing of 21-year-old Marta. (Click on the arrow to play. If you click on the image, it’ll take you to YouTube.)

They beat Norway 4-1 and got the bronze. Next stop, the Olympics.

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I knew they could do it.

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Golfing and Beer

Posted by Casey on September 30, 2007

Last Saturday the Sacramento Eagles of the National Golf League hosted a golf tournament and a brewfest called “Suds on the Green.” It was a good idea–if Mother Nature had cooperated a little more.

It was raining pretty hard in the morning, which didn’t stop the golfers.

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The Sacramento Sirens had a tent and many of them showed up after playing some flag football with the Sacramento’s Women’s Flag Football Association. The Sirens had on their jerseys and whooped it up every time the Sacramento Eagles played the ninth hole.

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They even tried to win a $1000 with a 25-foot putt. No one made the putt and the $1000 went to The First Tee of Greater Sacramento.

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Meanwhile, the rain put a damper on the brewfest . . .

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At least for a while. The rain stopped and the sun even peeked out from behind the clouds every once in a while. More people showed up for the brewfest and they were invited to rather around the ninth hole, every time a pair of teams passed through.

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Of course, they were well lubricated with alcohol and would have whooped and hollered for any thing remotely entertaining.

Meanwhile, the golfers were actually trying to golf . . .

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It actually turned out to be a fun day. They were expecting thousands rather than hundreds of people to attend the brewfest . But the people who showed up as the weather cleared seemed to enjoy the novel approach to golf.

The East Bay Power won and the Sacramento Eagles took second place.

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Update in Soccer

Posted by Casey on September 29, 2007

Hope Solo will not be playing in the bronze medal match against Norway on Sunday. In fact, she will not be allowed to attend the game. Coach Ryan met with the team leaders and they decided that Solo would be a distraction at the match.

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Wambach summed it up best: “It just goes to show you have to be professional all the time and you have to watch what you say.”

A lesson Diana Taurasi learned this summer after getting suspended for two games after not watching what she said.

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Catching Up With Sports

Posted by Casey on September 28, 2007

It’s that deja vu feeling for the US Women’s Soccer Team. For the second Women’s World Cup in a row, they lost in the semi-finals. Brazil blew the US out 4-0.

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The debate will rage on for years about the US coach’s decision to take goalkeeper Hope Solo out and put in veteran Briana Scurry, because Scurry has never given up a goal to Brazil. But Scurry hasn’t played much international soccer in the last couple of years and that may or may not have been a factor for the loss.

Hope Solo’s comments after the match may have put her future with the US team in jeopardy.

In 2003 the US lost to Germany in the semi-finals and Germany went on to win the whole thing. Germany will be playing Brazil in the finals on Sunday. US will play Norway for bronze.

The US Senior Women’s National Basketball Team is in the unusual position of having to qualify for the 2008 Olympics. The last time they had to qualify was 1980. Eight (including alternate, Candice Wiggins) of the players were born after 1980 and Sue Bird was born in October of that year. Yes, they won gold in 2004, but Russia beat them in the semi-finals at the Worlds last year and the US team settled for bronze. Lauren Jackson got her first international gold medal and Australia will be the team to beat in the Olympics, as they were in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

The US Team is down in Chile right now participating in an Olympic qualifying event that they have to win. If they don’t win, they won’t be able to go to the 2008 Olympics. There’s another chance to qualify in June, but the WNBA season will be underway and there isn’t any way to pull out the National Team and participate in that tournament.

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So far, they’ve beaten Cuba and crushed Jamaica. They play Canada (sans Tammy Sutton-Brown and Stacey Dales) today.

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More Teaser

Posted by Casey on September 25, 2007

photo by BJ Coletta

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US To Semi-finals

Posted by Casey on September 24, 2007

Abby Wambach, Shannon Boxx and Kristine Lilly all scored in a 3-0 shutout against England in the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals. Go US. We need to get that gold medal back.

Next match is against Brazil on Thursday.

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Hmmm, What’d I Do Today?

Posted by Casey on September 23, 2007


Or what happens when you put golfers, a brewfest, and members of a women’s professional football team together.

Details tomorrow . . .

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Of Hail and Backgammon

Posted by Casey on September 21, 2007

It rained only once in the last four months. Then last night a storm blew in. First it was a hail storm that lasted longer than most hailstorms and then pouring rain that I guess is not at all common this time of year here.

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We need all the rain we can get. The drought conditions here are critical and it doesn’t take anything to spark a fire in the dry dry fields.

So what does one do on a stormy night? The ancient game of backgammon. Remember my introduction to Scrabble? Well, it turns out I’m not very good at it. It clashes with my right-brained perception of words and letters and my lack of motivation to actually win.

So we tried backgammon. I used to play backgammon with someone who had an IQ of 144 back when I was in grad school at the University of Illinois. Accompaniments to these games was usually Pappa Del’s or Willie’s pizza and beer. Backgammon does not involve words, just visualization and conceptualizing. It does include counting and my right brain can be rather fluid about that, but all and all a better game for me. I’ve actually won a few games, sans pizza or the beer.

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Robert Jordan — Addendum

Posted by Casey on September 17, 2007

I just want to add that, in spite of or maybe because Jordan’s writing has as many critics as admirers, he was a genius. His influence on a generation of fantasy writers cannot be denied. This post by fantasy writer J.M. McDermott to Making Light’s entry for Jordan sums it up nicely.

I think it is a testament to his greatness as a story-teller that many young writers felt the urge to criticize his writing. Give us a couple months or a couple years after that criticism, and we all felt like boobs for it, because the man could actually write extremely well, and he did actually earn every single one of his millions of fans.

 

We, younglings, all had to deal with him, though. Part of how we created an identity as fantasy writers was choosing to accept or reject the Wheel of Time in our own visions. This urge, I think, led to more criticism than was actually deserved.

 

The greatest tribute to the man, I think, is how every person in the fantasy genre had to respond to his books, his stories, his world — more so than any other author since Tolkien. No one could have no opinion.

It’s a sad day in the world of speculative fiction. Jordan was only 58, leaving this world and the Wheel of Time world much too soon.

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Robert Jordan

Posted by Casey on September 17, 2007

James Oliver Rigney, Jr. aka Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series died over the weekend.

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I’d probably have more to say about it if I hadn’t given up on the series eight or nine years ago.

Back then, I’d eagerly await the publication of each volume and devour it over a weekend. Then one day, I bought the next eagerly awaited volume, opened it up and didn’t recognize any of the people or the setting. It was at that point I realized Jordan had finally crossed the line that he had flirted with crossing in the previous volumes. He had gotten so deep into world-building and history-building he forgot the most important reason why we were obsessively following the series.

We wanted to read about the main characters–all three hundred of them–we didn’t want to open up a new volume and have to figure out when these minor characters appeared in the previous half-million pages and why he was writing about them at the particular time when we were anxious to read about Mat’s or Perrin’s or Egwene’s fate.

Having said that, there are moments of great brilliance in these books I still think about today. I love the warrior women of the Aiel and the Aes Sedai. The reader can’t help but get deeply immersed in the world and in the lives of the characters. But there are so many characters vying for attention and too many story threads and too much irrelevant detail that important things like direction of story tend to drag, stall, or completely disappear.

Maybe when the series is completed, I’ll revisit it. Despite its flaws, there is much to love about the characters and the world Jordan lovingly crafted. Many of the characters are like old friends. My memory of them has a curling up with a good book on a rainy day kind of comfort for me.

“When the series is completed?” you ask.

Jordan wrote the ending before he started the first book. He also spent the time after learning he had a rare blood disease to work on the final volume and to outline and make notes of what’s left to be done. His wife is an editor and a writer, so the work has been left in more than capable hands.

Here’s a link for the uninitiated into the Wheel of Time work . . .

The White Tower

Other Wheel of Time sites . . .

Encyclopedia WOT

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Theoryland of the Wheel of Time

Here’s a link to the official Robert Jordan site, but it crashed shortly after the reports of his death. Hopefully, it’ll be back up soon.

Dragonmount

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Phoenix!

Posted by Casey on September 16, 2007

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I’m a happy soul this fine day. Phoenix never trailed in the decisive game against Detroit — in Detroit before 20,000 Detroit fans.

Phoenix won 108-92.

I wish I’d made a wager at the beginning of the season because I knew Phoenix was the best team to win this year if they could hold it together.

Now . . . Withdrawals. Thank goodness the Women’s World Cup is going on.

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Final Game

Posted by Casey on September 16, 2007

The final WNBA game of the 2007 season is tomorrow. Monarchs fans, take a moment to remember two years ago . . .

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I was there. One of my life list things was to see a championship WNBA game in person. Only a relatively few people are lucky enough to be in the right arena, for the right game to witness one. I even put that wish, through the voice of my young protagonist, in Top of the Key — before I actually saw a championship game in person.

Last year, I got to cover the two games of the Finals series that were in Sacramento for SportsPageMagazine. That was another one of those lucky right place, right year kind of thing. The Monarchs didn’t win in the end but it was still a great ride while it lasted.

So this year I’m rooting for Phoenix. Let’s get the championship back to the West. Only twice has the trophy gone east, not including the first year when Houston was a part of the Eastern Conference. Detroit won it both times. So Dee, Cappie, Penny, the three Kellies, and Co. beat Detroit and bring the trophy back to the left side of the country where it belongs.

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Odd Nostalgia

Posted by Casey on September 15, 2007

I ran into the Web site of my brother’s best buddy from junior high, high school, and college, Harold Koplowitz. His claim to fame is a book he wrote 30 years ago called Carbondale After Dark.

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Well, as it says on his site: “He currently works full-time at the wire service and writes on the side, toiling in obscurity until he heard an urban legend that his nearly quarter-century-old book was selling for hundreds of dollars on the Internet. As a result, he decided to stop searching for an agent to market his writings and do it himself, starting with Carbondale After Dark.”

I own one of the original copies of the book. We all bought it when he first put it out. Among other things, he wrote about the student riots of May, 1970 in reaction to the Kent State shootings.

I was a freshman in high school when the riots happened. The freshman were in a separate new school building on the edge of town at the time and they needed a place to put the National Guard, who were in town to stop the college students from tearing up the downtown every night. They declared Martial Law. So they kicked us out of school and moved in.

We had to meet in churches for half-days to, at least, pretend to fulfill the state’s minimum requirement for school attendance. They closed the main high school, too, because it was next to the armory and all the military vehicles, including tanks, were parked in the football field. The older kids would arrive at the church bandaged up from getting clubbed because they spent the night downtown rioting. They had the first hand accounts we all wanted to hear. Those half-days turned into mini-seminars in political discourse.

There was a city-wide 7 o’clock curfew and we were trying to put on our annual high school musical. We’d get out of rehearsals at ten to seven and there would be National Guard with rifles lounging outside the doors.

Surreal doesn’t begin to describe it.

They finally closed the University to get the students out of town. They had to come back in the summer to finish their course work.

I’ve always said that the events of that spring had a profound impact on me and my belief systems.

Here’s a video trailer from the book. Click on the start arrow to stay on this page. If you click on the image, you’ll go to the YouTube page.

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In Other Sports News

Posted by Casey on September 14, 2007

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In case everyone missed the memo, Abby Wambach rules. She got both goals in a 2-0 match against Sweden in the Women’s World Cup today.

USA striker Abby Wambach stole the show on Friday in Chengdu, slotting home a first-half penalty and hammering a stunning half-volley after the break to secure her side a 2-0 win over Group B rivals Sweden.

 

After expertly bringing down a lofted ball from Kristine Lilly in the 58th minute, Wambach, USA’s top scorer at the FIFA Women’s World Cup four years ago, unleashed a searing left-footed half-volley that was quite simply unstoppable.

Wambach has made 3 of the 4 USA goals so far in the World Cup. Go Abby and Go USA.

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Phoenix on to Game 5

Posted by Casey on September 14, 2007

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Phoenix pulled off a victory 77-76. Everyone’s going back to Detroit for the 5th and decisive game on Sunday.

The league reviewed the film on the Pierson/Taylor incident and changed Pierson’s T to a flagrant foul. She also got a T in Game 4, along with Taurasi and Tweety Nolan. I think they’re breaking the records for number of T’s in the Finals–10 so far. Not a surprise to anyone.

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More Fun from the WNBA

Posted by Casey on September 13, 2007

First off, the “Laimbeer’s House of Thug School” thread by the Board Junkies got media attention because Bill Laimbeer (SFO) posted to it. A lot of WNBA insiders read and post to the forum but Evil Bill’s the only one who has let his identity be known.

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Laimbeer gets behind the laptop, interacts with hecklers as ‘SFO’

Scroll through the pages of Rebkell.com, a WNBA message board, and you will come across a thread titled: “Laimbeer’s House of Thug School.”

 

On the thread Wednesday, someone by the name of “bballfan” posted a mock pamphlet on what you can learn at the school, things such as how to act innocent, how to argue with refs, basic thuggery and opponent intimidation skills, taking a technical for the team and the Ancient Art of Flopping.

 

A few posts below, “SFO” replied: “And it only costs $10k to attend with a $100 discount for a second attendee.”

 

SFO is an acronym for Shock Front Office. And the man behind the screen name is none other than Shock coach/Bad Boy Bill Laimbeer himself.

 

“That was pretty good,” he said of the thread during Shock practice. “I liked that one.”

 

Laimbeer visits the site nearly every day and is an occasional poster (he had 215 posts as of Wednesday.

Mechele Voepel has put the Pierson/Taylor incident into perspective.

Time for Mercury, Shock to move on from incident

In case you’re wondering, Diana Taurasi is still ticked off. No, not furious like she was Tuesday night after Phoenix lost 88-83 to Detroit in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.

 

Then, her anger was fueled mostly by the incident near the end of the game, where Detroit’s Plenette Pierson …

 

A. Took a swing at Phoenix’s Penny Taylor.
B. Got “tangled up” with Taylor.
C. Perhaps was a bit overzealous in her dealings with Taylor.
D. Did absolutely nothing. (Only official members of the “Plenette Pierson Rules!” fan club are allowed to pick D.)

 

Of course, Taurasi’s take was A. Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer’s was B. Fans will be spread out in picking A, B or C. The WNBA reviewed the incident and talked to the parties involved. But everyone said Wednesday it would not be a distraction going into Game 4 on Thursday night.

Voepel is one of my favorite writers. I want to be like her when I grow up.

I actually met her briefly last year while covering the WNBA Finals when the Monarchs were trying to get their second championship. I saw her name on the media list and made a note of where her seat was. Let’s just say, she had a better seat than I did. She was at the scorers table, I was behind the visitors bench. During halftime, I chased after her all the way into the tunnel and we were almost to the press area before I caught up with her.

I’m shy by nature and can get tongue-tied at the worse moments, especially around people I admire and feel unworthy of breathing the same air–or pretending to write in the same world as them. I also had a minor cold and my voice was croaky and uncomfortable. I introduced myself and told her I thought she was a great writer and gave her a copy of Top of the Key. She said she now had something to read on the plane. She was exactly how she looks and writes, low-keyed, unassuming, very mid-western (something I can relate to). She probably thought I was some crazy person. I don’t know if she ever read Top of the Key, but I like to believe she did.

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