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November 2002

at last

I was nine years old in 1962, and my father didn't take me to any World Series games. I don't mention this to dis him ... we went to a few Giants games a year, that seemed like enough when I was a kid. Just stating the facts.

In 1989, I attended two World Series games over the course of three scheduled dates. The first one, of course, ended before it started with an earthquake. The next two ended with the Giants losing both games, and the Series itself.

In 2002, I attended Game Three of the World Series at Pac Bell Park. The Giants lost.

And so it came to pass that on October 23, 2002, with my daughter Sara, who had also attended Game Four of the '89 Series with me, I attended Game Four of the 2002 World Series, never in my entire 49-year life having seen the Giants win a World Series game in person.

And they won.

My ears are still ringing (thanks to those Thunderstix thingies). But they won.

When I was interviewed by the Contra Costa Times last week, I told them I didn't want to see any more 4-3 games. There have been four games so far in this World Series. Two of them the Giants lost. In the other two, the final score was 4-3. The Giants won them both.

Keep hope alive ...


The Giants are in the World Series for the first time after a long absence. Their opponents, coincidentally, are also a California team. San Francisco fans are excited after watching their team win an exciting NL championship series, 4 games to 1. But then the Series begins, and the American League opponents seem to be hitting everything in sight. The Giants' starting pitching rotation is exposed as the weak spot in their roster; by the time the Series moves to San Francisco, some folks are wondering if the Giants will ever be able to stop the AL champs at the plate. Sure enough, after a lot of pre-game excitement, Game Three in SF begins, and the next thing you know, the Giants' starter is getting pounded, the opposition eventually reaching double-digits in runs scored. The Giants lose the game; it looks bad for their World Series hopes.

Sound familiar? It should, because what I'm describing only happened a short time ago. Thirteen years, to be exact. Yes, I'm talking about the 1989 World Series, where the Giants were soundly defeated by the Oakland Athletics.

And it's happening again. The California Angels have scored 11 and 10 runs in the last two games; the Giants starting pitchers don't have any answers. It looks like we'll have to wait another year or more for the Giants to win a World Series.

snapshot of life at the moment

I just watched this week's Buffy episode. Of course, it hasn't aired yet, but this is the modern world, where teevee episodes are available for download before they've even made it to the television screen. I downloaded/watched it because I'll be at Pac Bell Park tonight, and I've been forgetful about taping lately. Now I've seen it and I want to talk about it, but Robin and Sara won't see it until tonight, so I'm keeping my mouth shut. Except here, of course.

So I'll just note that it's an important episode, one that I think is very good but it might go a bit overboard in the "changing moods from comic relief to emotional trauma" mode, that it'll bring a tear to your eye more than once, and the episode rules if for no other reason, than for the line "What if I'm really nobody?"


The sad thing about Windtalkers is how utterly ordinary and conventional it is. It's not good, it's not bad, it's not interesting but neither is it boring, it's got an interesting idea for a plot, it doesn't make much use of that idea. It's the definition of a five on a scale of ten. It's better than Mission Impossible 2, still John Woo's worst American movie, but it's so much worse than Woo's greatest Hong Kong films that it's depressing.

You can mark off all the items on your John Woo Checklist (birds flying? check! two guys pointing guns at each other? check! male bonding? check! Catholic imagery? check!) but they mean nothing beyond the checklist. He takes the fascinating concept of Navajo Marines using their native language as an unbreakable-to-the-Japanese code during WWII, and then barely uses that code during the 2+ hours of the film. He takes a movie ostensibly about those Navajos, and turns it into a movie about Nicolas Cage. Perhaps most unfortunate, this great Asian filmmaker turns every Japanese character into a faceless, killing nonentity. Windtalkers isn't a disappointment ... how could it be after the disaster that was MI2? It's just a hollow dud.