A Book, a Basketball Game, and a Bowl

Sitting in my room with my Italian roommate singing something in the distance…

Cup of tea: None.

There are a few different things to talk about today.  Shall we begin?

1. Book: Hospital Hill – Katherine Anderson

I picked this novel up last year at the Boston Book Festival, where I met the author (who is a very cool, quite nice human being).  The story takes place in the Pioneer Valley (oh, the memories…) at Northampton State Hospital, which, long ago, was an asylum.  Concept-wise, it sounded quite intriguing; a woman, Valerie, must go back to this place after many years in order to sort through old files, and while doing so uncovers a pretty sinister mystery that she needs to solve… Why not, am I right?

First of all, I can’t say I thought the book was perfect.  There were a lot of typos and areas where I had to pause and reread sentences because the grammar was so off.  I am not thrilled by these kinds of mistakes, as they distract from the story, and, frankly put, there were times when I thought, “For the love of God, why didn’t you send this to me so I could edit it before you published it?!” instead of focusing on what was happening.  I find little excuse for these sorts of mistakes – proofreading is a beautiful thing (I say this and yet will probably have a typo somewhere in this very post – so it goes).
Second, there were scenes that seemed fast-forwarded.  It was as if the author didn’t really know what to do with what was happening, but knew what was next, so she just sped through the present.  The characters were also rather flat and I found it hard to relate to them.

Criticism aside, the book showed potential.  There were times when the descriptions of the surroundings were quite lovely, and I did enjoy the fact that the story went back and forth between the present and the past. The plot itself, though in some areas predictable, was enjoyable and I did want to see how it was going to unfold.  I also appreciated the fact that this is Anderson’s first fictional book, and I do look forward to seeing her develop and hone her writing skills.
Overall score: 3/5 stars.

2. Basketball Game

People who know me know that I have minimal sports knowledge.  The only ones I comprehend are gymnastics and fencing, and this is because I participated in them.  I can feign understanding ping pong, but this is all a facade and you should not believe anything I say about it, except that I won a tournament once (really!).

Anyhow, my wonderful best friend invited me to watch her school’s basketball game today, and though part of my being wanted to do nothing, the other part decided that the former was being rather silly, so I headed off to BU Academy.  I arrived slightly late, lingered a minute before being directed to a row of chairs on the other side of the court, and took my place amongst parents and other various onlookers.  There were about 8 of us in total.  Each of our chairs had a balloon tied to it, and mine was particularly rude and kept hitting me in the head every few minutes.  Asshole balloon.

My understanding of basketball is as follows:
1. The ball goes in the hoop
2. You can’t hold the ball while you run – you have to dribble it
3. There are two teams

My understanding of this specific basketball game was as such:
1. If Winchendon is winning, it is good
2. If I can avoid being taken out by a rogue basketball, it is good

So it is with this very in-depth understanding that I watched the game.  Once I found the correct scoreboard, I settled into Snapchat commentary.  Winchendon had a comfortable lead.  All was well, except for that damn balloon.

Things I noticed while watching the game:
1. Some people fall very gracefully and in slow motion.  This is a skill I must learn
2. Lime green socks are awesome

In the end, Winchendon was victorious (woo!) and I almost died only once via basketball.  Deeming this experience a success, I tagged along with the team to Chipotle and regretted not going along with the ruse that I was a scout (damn).  Next time.

3. Bowl (The Super Kind)

The Superb Owl was yesterday, so of course Boston was very excited about their beloved Patriots.  As for me, I care very little for football, which I understand less than I understand basketball.
Because of this, I did not watch the game – out of curiosity I looked at the score around halftime, in which the Patriots were losing by a long shot.  At this, I thought “too bad” and continued on with what I was doing.
At 11, a sudden rise of joyous cheering floated up to my window.  Pausing, I listened to the cacophony for a few seconds before concluding that, somehow, the Patriots must have won.  In spite of myself, I felt proud of the team my city loves so dearly, and I knew that the next day would have a lot of smiling people, hungover from the night’s festivities but overjoyed about the history that had been made.

Good job, Boston.

I realize that, as it stands, I am terrible at finishing these posts.  This is something I must improve with time…
With that thought, Monday comes to a close.  Adieu, auf wiedersehen, good night, etc.

-MC

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